Monday, 11 December 2006 00:00
Hospice CollierWritten by Mike Kiniry
Hospice care in Collier County could be expanding next year – after a state review found the county is underserved. But not everyone agrees with that determination.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reviews all the state’s 27 hospice service areas twice a year to determine if needs are being met. The agency’s most recent review listed Collier County as one of three areas in the state requiring more hospice care.
But President and CEO of Hospice of Naples – Karen Rollins – says the state collected its data the same week Hurricane Wilma hit Naples.
“During that period of time much of the county was closed down and even though we were caring for the patients that we had it was not possible for us to admit patients. This was an aberration, this was a natural disaster and the calculation the state uses does not take those kinds of things into consideration.”
Rollins says they’ve filed a petition asking the state to take the storm into consideration before making their final determination next year.
Meanwhile 8 agencies have filed letters of intent saying they’re interested in coming to Collier, including Lee County based Hope Hospice.
A review by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration recently determined Collier County needs more hospice care…and so the application process to fill that need is underway.
Eight agencies – including Fort Myers-based Hope Hospice – have submitted letters of intent with the state.
But officials at the hospice program already serving Collier – Hospice of Naples – say the state has made a mistake, and that the community is already well served.
President and CEO of Hospice of Naples – Karen Rollins – says they’re not necessarily against having other hospices in Collier…but that she’s seen trends in other states where multiple providers create competition that can dilute services.
“The Medicare reimbursement and Medicaid reimbursement they get doesn’t really cover the cost of the care they provide. So they start having to spend those resources that are limited on things like advertising and marketing and things that don’t have a lot to do with direct patient care.”
Rollins says they filed a petition with the state asking for a review of its findings because they are based on data collected the week Hurricane Wilma hit Naples, and are therefore inaccurate.
No date is set for the review…but she says it’ll likely be late next year.