The home care and hospice service line at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital (SMCH) has entered into an enhanced partnership with UnityPoint at Home. SMCH has been a rural affiliate of UnityPoint Health since 2012. “As providers of healthcare, our goal is to always provide the best care possible to every patient, every time. Our home care and hospice team is an extraordinary group focused on patient care and they do their jobs very well,” comments Cindy Carstens, chief executive officer of SMCH. Carstens points out that rural hospitals are impacted by the unintended consequences caused by governmental policies. “As critical access hospitals navigate the ever-changing regulations, we need to find a partner to help us to continue to thrive. Our partner for home care and hospice services will be the UnityPoint at Home team.”
While there will be a shift in administrative responsibilities, Carstens shares that SMCH patients can expect to receive the same level of high quality care from the staff they currently see. “We value the relationships our patients have with our home care team, and we are focused on minimizing any disruption to our patients. We expect the transition to be very smooth as both organizations approach the transition with patient care top of mind,” states Carstens.
Details of the agreement are in the discussion phase as the letter of intent for SMCH home care to become UnityPoint at Home was signed on June 15th. The signed letter gives the green light for further discussion and identifies the expectations for each party. “The process takes time and by taking it slow, we can help our employees achieve satisfaction with the agreement. We want to ensure that the partnership is collaborative and our team is able to maintain their connection with SMCH while providing care under the leadership of UnityPoint at Home,” says Carstens. The process could take until May 2018.
The hospital’s affiliation with UnityPoint Health has continued to strengthen since partnering five years ago. “We chose UnityPoint at Home because our standards and philosophy on community and patient care aligned. We envision this collaboration to be as smooth and successful as our past experiences,” says Carstens.
About UnityPoint at Home
UnityPoint at Home provides home health care services in communities across Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Part of UnityPoint Health, one of the nation’s largest non-denominational health systems, UnityPoint at Home works together with its affiliated physicians and hospitals to coordinate the services, support and education necessary to continue care at home. Services include adult and pediatric nursing, rehabilitation therapy, personal care and home support, infusion therapy, specialty therapy, palliative care, hospice and home medical equipment. For more information, visit unitypointathome.org.