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New Regional Partnership Will Expand Access to High-Quality Hospice Care

PITTSBURGH, March 19, 2015 UPMC, Family Hospice and Palliative Care and Presbyterian SeniorCare today announced a new partnership of organizations sharing a common interest in providing compassionate and high-quality care to people in western Pennsylvania with life-limiting illness. Subject to completion of due diligence and receipt of regulatory approvals, a definitive agreement and closing of this transaction are expected to take place by mid-year.
 
Family Hospice and Palliative Care, Pennsylvania’s largest non-profit hospice and palliative care organization, will grow substantially in both volume and geographic coverage through this collaboration. Family Hospice will become part of UPMC Community Provider Services which includes the UPMC Home Nursing Agency (HNA) hospice. 
 
HNA Hospice is among the top providers in the state and was the first home health agency in Pennsylvania to become a Medicare-certified hospice.  Family Hospice will continue to operate under its strong brand in 23 counties of western Pennsylvania and serve patients and their families with end-of-life health care services, locations, programs, staff and educational outreach programs. The combined hospice operations will be managed by HNA.
 
Both UPMC and Presbyterian SeniorCare have been corporate partners with Family Hospice in recent years. Additional non-profit corporate sponsors, including Presbyterian SeniorCare, will share in governance and support its mission. Family Hospice’s employees will be retained and become employees of UPMC, and its chief executive, Barbara Ivanko, will continue to serve in this capacity.
 
Hospices, like all other health care providers, are experiencing increased regulation and decreased reimbursement. The combined assets, experience and depth of resources under UPMC Community Provider Services will enable Family Hospice to offer ongoing, better-coordinated, comprehensive care for patients dealing with progressive and life-limiting illness. This combination will leverage shared expertise and capabilities in hospice and palliative care while proactively addressing industry issues and maintaining the highest standard of end-of-life care.
 
The new partnership advocates for broad community participation in hospice services in one of the nation’s oldest communities and will sustain and preserve the services and the community assets of South Hills-based Family Hospice for the long-term. 
 
“Family Hospice and Palliative Care has a long history of providing fabulous care in the community and we are thrilled to work more closely, allowing us to ensure that every patient gets the right care at the right time in the right location,” said Robert Arnold, M.D., medical director, UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute.
 
“The expanded collaboration with UPMC and potentially other partners will enable high-quality hospice services to reach a broader community in bigger and better ways,” said Paul Winkler, president and CEO of Presbyterian SeniorCare. “For us, this is a natural evolution in our more than 15-year collaborative program with Family Hospice, which has been recognized nationally with a Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association for innovative strides in palliative and end-of-life care.”
 
“UPMC has a long history of support for palliative care as a fundamental part of our commitment to our patients and their families to actively communicate and respect their individual goals and wishes about their care,” said Deborah Brodine, president, UPMC Community Provider Services. “Family Hospice has been a wonderful partner, with a complementary mission and vision, and we are pleased to fully embrace the organization as part of our larger health system, supporting UPMC’s growth and ongoing success. We welcome the opportunity to continue to partner with Presbyterian SeniorCare and other like-minded organizations in this important work.”
 
"Health care has become increasingly patient- and family-centered with an emphasis on measureable excellence,” said Ms. Ivanko. “Our alliance with UPMC, its Palliative and Supportive Institute and Presbyterian SeniorCare ensures that Family Hospice will continue to achieve and contribute to the highest standards in end-of-life care. We are proud to be part of a continuum of care with a national reputation for quality, service and compassion.”
 
“The hospice industry is undergoing dramatic changes. Becoming part of a larger network of care will help to ensure a long-term future for Family Hospice, our dedicated employees, and loyal volunteers and donors who have diligently served patients, families and the community for the past 35 years,” said Bob Butter, board chair of Family Hospice. “Our Board of Directors wholeheartedly supports the logic, timing and opportunity to be an integral part of the region’s largest network of care,” he added. 
 
Since 1983, HNA’s hospice program has received state and national recognition for its best practices, including the development of a children’s bereavement program, The Healing Patch. “Partnering with this consortium ensures that the agency’s legacy of hospice care and grief support services continue in the rural communities of central Pennsylvania while helping to set the standards for the future of hospice and palliative care,” said Philip Freeman, President of HNA.

About UPMC

A world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of accountable, cost-effective, patient-centered care. It provides more than $887 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 60,000 employees, more than 20 hospitals, more than 500 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, a more than 2.5-million-member health insurance division, and international and commercial operations. Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC ranks No. 12 in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals — and No. 1 in Pennsylvania. For more information, go to UPMC.com.

About Family Hospice and Palliative Care

Family Hospice and Palliative Care is the largest non-profit hospice in Pennsylvania and in Allegheny County. Family Hospice was founded in 1980 through a partnership by Mercy Hospital, St. Clair Hospital, South Hills Health System and South Hills Interfaith Ministries. It provides hospice care in homes, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, hospitals, and through its own inpatient centers in Mt. Lebanon and Lawrenceville. Family Hospice's Inpatient Hospice Center/Mt. Lebanon houses a 12-bed inpatient hospice setting and an educational auditorium; a second inpatient setting is located in Lawrenceville, on the campus of Canterbury Place, a UPMC Senior Community. Family Hospice is committed to delivering quality patient care, caregiver support and education on end-of-life care. For more information, visit www.familyhospicePA.org

About Presbyterian SeniorCare

Since its inception in 1928, Presbyterian SeniorCare has been committed to making aging easier for older adults and their families. Guided by its faith-based roots, it has built and today delivers a continuum of living and care options for older adults of all faiths across 56 communities at 44 locations in 10 western Pennsylvania counties. This includes personal care and skilled nursing communities, short-term rehabilitation services, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, over 30 senior housing communities, a premier continuing care retirement community known as Longwood at Oakmont, as well as in-home and community-based programs. Presbyterian SeniorCare and its affiliates are accredited as an Aging Services Network by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), the international authority that evaluates senior living communities.
 
Presbyterian SeniorCare has garnered national recognition in Alzheimer’s Care through the development of Woodside Place in Oakmont. Presbyterian SeniorCare also received a national award for its hospice and palliative care collaboration with Family Hospice and Palliative Care. To learn more, please visit www.SrCare.org

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