Allegheny Health Network to shutter hospice unit

Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network will close its nine-bed inpatient hospice unit at its West Penn Hospital, which is also in Pittsburgh, Jan. 25, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Hospital officials attributed the closure to a declining demand for inpatient hospice services and an increasing demand for home hospice care.

“Patients are getting on hospice sicker than ever and living less long,” Robert Hebert, MD, CMO of Allegheny Health@HomeHospice, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“A large minority of our patients die within a week — almost half of them — and when they go home [after a hospital discharge], people want to stay home. They don’t want to make one more move.”

After the closure, the hospital will focus on expanding its at-home hospice services. AHN intends to hire a nurse practitioner and establish a care coordination position to ensure patients are properly cared for during at-home visits.

AHN will still offer inpatient hospice services at its other hospitals across Pittsburgh, according to the report.

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