By Robin Stawasz

When hospice providers ask me about the possibility of expanding their service lines outside of the traditional hospice benefit, I recommend that they ask themselves one vital question – “What is your mission?” If I hear back some form of “to provide hospice”, they may not fully understand what expansion will involve. But if I hear back “to care for the seriously ill”, then hospice becomes a tool to accomplish that, not the goal itself. And while hospice is one very powerful tool in that work, there are many others that can be just as important, such as non-hospice palliative care, chronic care management, and so many more. To truly drive their mission, they are called upon to pick up as many tools as possible.

According to a very timely discussion by Hospice News, more and more hospices are asking themselves this question and looking to move outside of the hospice box. The need to do so is great. First, our communities are dealing with unmet needs. Second, the hospice field is increasingly challenged to stake their place in the healthcare continuum. Lastly, payer partners are looking for providers who offer a wide range of services.

Two huge areas of opportunity are in behavioral health and chronic care management, which can take many forms including palliative care, transitional care management, PACE, home-based primary care, and many other innovative models. These services are already core for hospices – attending to the social and psychological needs of patients and families as well as helping patients manage their disease on their terms. Hospices are well equipped to do this work themselves and/or find excellent providers in their communities to partner with. So, what is your mission? Are you ready to step outside of the hospice box?

If you would like help stepping outside of the Hospice box, Acclivity is here for you – please contact us.

Source Material: “Behavioral Health, Chronic Disease among Top Health Care Macro-Trends Impacting Hospices” by Jim Parker posted by Hospice News on February 17, 2023 (

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