South Florida Hospital News
Friday February 26, 2021
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October 2013 - Volume 10 - Issue 4
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Partnership of Hospice by the Sea and Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County to Benefit Patients in All Areas

For more than 35 years, Hospice by the Sea and Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County have provided not-for-profit care to the south Florida community as separate organizations. And though the companies occasionally explored the possibility of combining their services, the conditions were never right. In September of this year, however, the two hospice providers agreed to form a strategic partnership that will benefit both businesses, the patients and families they serve, and the south Florida community as a whole.
 
“From time to time, we explored the possibility of combining our capabilities because there were obvious synergies between the two organizations,” explained Hospice by the Sea Chair Marian Nease. “We are really excited that the time has finally come for us to work together because we see it as an opportunity to strengthen our presence in the communities we serve.”
 
“Because we are such complementary organizations, it just makes sense that we take this next step,” added John Marino, chair of Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County. “We’re just glad that the stars finally aligned.”
 

Standing (l-r): David C. Fielding, Marian Nease
Seated (l-r): Paula J. Alderson, John Marino
This strategic partnership will enable both hospices to benefit from the strengths of the other. Hospice by the Sea offers home health agency services, caregiver support services and a robust palliative care program. Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County has a pharmacy program, a durable medical equipment service and central distribution facilities. It also has a foundation that enables it to provide patient services over and above those reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, including music and other complementary therapies and charity care to a growing number of uninsured patients.
 
While hospice patients and their families will not see a difference in the high quality of care they receive, this partnership between the organizations will enable each to expand their expertise into this shared market to the benefit of all involved. “Because Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County has a pharmacy and durable medical equipment company, Hospice by the Sea will be able to see savings through volume purchasing,” explained Nease.
 
In turn, Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County is looking to expand into the home health market by partnering with Hospice by the Sea. “We’re also expecting to develop and expand our palliative care services within our two communities,” said Marino.
 
“Everything we do is driven by the clinical needs of the patients we serve, so while the patients and families themselves may not notice obvious changes, in the end, these benefits will end up passing through to patient care, which is the most important thing to all of us,” said Nease.
 
The volunteer community boards of both organizations unanimously supported the idea of a partnership, believing that it will improve access to a broader array of well-coordinated care for patients and their families. Leaders of both organizations are now working to develop an integration plan that they expect to implement within 12 to 18 months. Both CEOs - David Fielding and Paula Alderson - will remain with the combined organization, serving as CEO and president, respectively. Five representatives from each organization will be chosen by the board chairs to create a new, 10-member board. “The hospice locations will remain the same, and there are no layoffs anticipated in the foreseeable future,” said Nease.
 
“When you look at the agreement, from every perspective, it is truly a combination of equals,” said Marino. “As both organizations come together, they are each bringing different strengths to the table.”
 
As a combined entity, the new parent company, which has yet to be named, will be a significant provider in the south Florida market. It is hoped that by combining forces, the hospice organizations will be better able to respond to what is happening in health care. “Given what is happening in the world today, this partnership will enable us to react nimbly to changes and to develop innovative programs within our areas of competence as the health care market continues to change,” said Nease.
 
“This is all about patient care and how to do it better,” added Marino. “The ultimate goal of both organizations is that if someone needs hospice—regardless of his or her ability to pay, insurance or ability to qualify for government programs—they can get the care they need.”
For more information about this strategic partnership, contact Deborah Solow at Hospice by the Sea at (561) 416-5024 or dsolow@hbts.org or visit www.hbts.org or contact Jennifer Whiting at Hospice of Palm Beach County and Broward County at (561) 281-3616 or jwhiting@spectrumhealth.com or visit www.hpbc.com
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