About Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County

Monday, March 26, 2018

Community Health Collaborative changing approach to patient care


The Piedmont Community Health Collaborative (PCHC) is leading a new approach to health care in Iredell County, where providers work together to ensure patients get access “to the right care, at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost.”

“Statesville is at the intersection of leading edge healthcare collaboration and innovation, and I’m excited to say we’re changing the way we work together to better benefit our neighbors, our friends and our community,” PCHC Executive Director Tyler Wilson said on Monday evening.

Wilson, who was the keynote speaker at Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County’s annual meeting, told an audience of nearly 350 people that his organization has a four-part mission: to simultaneously reduce the cost of care, have best-in-class quality outcomes and positive patient and provider team experiences.

“What our company does is connect the dots – we bring the community together to coordinate the care, services and support we provide our patients,” Wilson said.

One of those partners in coordinated care is Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County (HPCIC). With the county’s aging population, collaboration between health care entities is increasingly important, HPCIC CEO Terri Phillips said.

“We have a unique opportunity to partner with healthcare providers to improve the quality of care and reduce costs,” she said.

Wilson said the statistics show the key role hospice and palliative care can play. For the Medicare patient population that PCHC currently works for, in 2017, 8.7 percent of patients were responsible for 50 percent of the costs, which equates to just over $59 million in medical spending, excluding prescription drugs.

For that same population, 375 people died during 2017, and they had spending equal to 24 percent of the total medical spending for the entire population for that year.

“Partnerships with palliative care and hospice organizations are placed at a premium for integrator organizations like ours for this reason: these organizations add enormous value, and treat a small population that’s responsible for a disproportionately high amount of medial spending,” Wilson said. “Palliative care has been proven to reduce symptom distress, enhance quality of life, increase hospice use, decrease spiritual distress and decrease the need for high-cost unnecessary care in the emergency room or hospital.”

The success of PCHC’s approach is already beginning to be evident, Wilson said.

“For the Medicare population that we work together on, our emergency department visits are lower than they’ve been in the last four years. Fewer unnecessary emergency department visits mean fewer unnecessary hospital admissions, which means partnerships like ours are contributing to getting patients access to the care they need in their homes at a lower cost. We’re keeping people healthy, and giving them the kind of care they want and that’s consistent with their wishes,” he said.” These things happen when a community collaborates and works together towards a mutual goal.”

Also during the meeting:

• HPCIC announced it has received Hospice Honors Elite status. This is the fifth consecutive year of receiving Hospice Honors and the third in five years receiving Elite status. Hospice Honors Elite recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

• An empty seat was marked with a rose in memory of HPCIC founder Myrtle Westmoreland, who passed away on Feb. 3. “We celebrate her legacy and love of life and will forever be grateful for her vision and leadership.”

• The Gordon family was recognized for their continuing support of HPCIC.

• Jeff Smith, Piedmont HealthCare CEO, recognized HPCIC for being awarded Nonprofit of the Year by the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce.

• HPCIC volunteers and board members were recognized for their service to the organization.