Homeland Hospice Selected for National Project to Improve Care



Homeland Hospice, a nonprofit hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania, has been selected to participate in the alpha testing phase of a new tool to standardize the collection of data for hospice patients. Homeland is one of 20 hospice programs chosen nationally, and the only hospice in the state participating in the project.

The Hospice Outcomes Patient Evaluation (HOPE) tool is a project led by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to better understand care needs throughout a patient’s dying process and contribute to the patient’s plan of care. The HOPE tool will also allow CMS to analyze data between patients and hospice programs across the country.

“A core goal of the HOPE tool is to understand how a hospice team works together to put the patient’s needs first,” says Mary Peters, MSW, Assistant Director of Social Services for Homeland Hospice. “A patient-centered approach to care has always been our philosophy.”

Homeland team members include a registered nurse case manager, hospice medical director, attending physician, volunteer coordinator, social workers, spiritual counselors, home care aides and others.

The HOPE tool alpha testing involves three phases, which includes training, data collection, and a forum scheduled in June 2021 to review the data and offer feedback about the tool.

Homeland has completed training and is in the data collection phase. During this phase, a patient’s primary hospice team – including a registered nurse, social worker and spiritual counselor – is present for each assessment.

With Homeland’s expansive service territory, data collection has required additional time and travel and Homeland’s dedicated staff has risen to the occasion.

“I’m proud of our staff for taking on this additional project,” Mary adds. “We are committed to providing excellent data to support the HOPE tool.”

Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves 14 communities throughout Central Pennsylvania by providing end-of-life care either in a person’s home or wherever they reside, including nursing facilities. Homeland also provides bereavement support to families for a full 13 months following the death of their loved one. This service is available to anyone in the community who is experiencing grief.

To learn more, please contact Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890.