Recent changes in Medicare now require shorter hospital stays and more and more surgery being done in short-stay surgery.
As a result, the number of patients under hospice and home care in Juneau have more than doubled from 2009 to 2010, and in the first quarter of 2011 the numbers of patients were already more than those in all of 2009. Additionally, Medicare has placed increased performance requirements related to pressure ulcers and wound care.
The Foundation for End of Life Care has, as part of its mission, the support of hospice services in Southeast Alaska. Accordingly, the Foundation has awarded a grant of $7,000 to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau to provide additional education for the nurses and other staff affected by the new Medicare requirements. The larger goals of this training are to improve patient care and increase hospice and home-care skills in Juneau’s hospice staff.
The two specific areas of focus for the nursing staff are skin care and wound management and preparation for nurses to become certified hospice and palliative care registered nurses. Additional education will be provided on death and dying and bereavement services.
Hospice and Home Care of Juneau is operated by Catholic Community Services and provides home care to patients just discharged from the hospital, terminally ill patients and their families.
The Foundation for End of Life Care endowment fund is invested through the Juneau Community Foundation.