State Health Department Selects Three Hospices to Apply For Certificate of Need Approval to Become Hospice Residence Pilot Sites

ALBANY, N.Y.(May 7, 2008) – State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today announced awardees under the Department's Hospice Residence Pilot Program. The awarded hospices – Metropolitan Jewish Hospice, Niagara Hospice Inc., and Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care – submitted proposals through a Request for Applications review process, and now can advance to the next stage to seek Certificate of Need (CON) approval to become hospice residence pilot sites.

"Hospice care has proven its worth time and again," Commissioner Daines said. "This program will encourage development of slightly larger hospice residences, which would help meet the growing demand for hospice care."

Existing hospice residences of three to eight beds provide traditional hospice care in an informal, home-like setting to individuals who live in unsuitable or unsafe homes, do not have adequate family supports in the immediate area to assist with care, or must relocate from areas outside of the hospice's geographical service area to be closer to family members. Hospice residences enable family members and informal supports to live in the residence with the patient and accommodate family members' needs.

To further encourage development of hospice residences, and to test whether economies of scale exist for hospice residences of greater than eight beds, Chapter 394 of the Laws of 2003 was enacted establishing the Hospice Residence Pilot Program. All New York State Article 40 (PHL) Hospices were invited to submit pilot proposals in response to an RFA, and the selected applicants were invited to apply for CON approval to operate pilot sites. Through this program, two hospice residences received initial CON approval in 2004 and, subsequently, became operational in 2004 and 2005 respectively. One operates a ten bed, and the other a 16 bed, hospice residence pilot.

Chapter 410 of the Laws of 2007 allowed expansion of this pilot program, which has enabled the three awarded hospices to seek CON approval to each operate 16-bed hospice residences, the maximum size allowed under the pilot program.