In January, a new health care facility opened in Centerville that focuses on individualized supportive care for people living with chronic illness.
On a recent tour of the 36,000 square foot facility, Pure Health Care President Anthony Evans tells me their mission includes maximizing their clients' quality of life and empowering them to thrive and succeed.
“A lot of factors impact people's ability to age in place and stay at home where they want to be when they're facing chronic conditions,” Evans says. “We just want to give them more tools and better tools to be more proactive and look upstream, as it were, and kind of engage them earlier in the disease process and give them better tools and interventions in the community.”
Joining us on the tour was Dr. Chirag Patel, Chief Medical Officer for Pure Healthcare, who described how their role is to bridge the gap in service that patients can experience when they seek long term chronic pain management. He also said the palliative care facility is an offshoot of hospice care.
“This facility is just an evolution of [hospice care] and is bringing in even more talent and even more holistic principles to build, to create a plan to care for the folks that we serve, to make sure that every aspect of what they consider to be burdensome is addressed. So, we still have very robust palliative physical services, which was what I do, symptom to manage pain, nausea, anxiety, you know, shortness of breath with, again, stronger behavior programs.”
Patel says Pure Healthcare can do a lot more group counseling, pharmacology, and other types of support for people who have clinical depression or anxiety.
“A person who has functional decline because of their chronic illness gets weaker, gets more tired, gets more disabled," Patel says. "How can we help support that person so they can stay independent and mobile to stay home, stay functional?”
Yet, Patel in no way discounts the services of Pure Healthcare’s parent organization.
“Hospice is great, you know, that's our heritage and always will be a part of our foundation, but as we have learned, and people realize, that palliative medicine is not hospice medicine, so we use the same principles, which is a holistic, multidisciplinary team engagement. But, folks are getting afraid of that word. People Google "palliative" and see all kinds of hospice stuff, and again, I'm not threatened by that, but a lot of the folks in the community are. So, we felt it was time to try to push a little further away from our heritage -- never forgetting about who we are, but understanding that in order to serve and to build a model of care that's going to be as comprehensive as we plan to be, we have to create some separation.
Patel says he will never forget the things he learned as a hospice clinician, but as a palliative specialist, as a population health individual, he thinks Pure Healthcare’s model approach can serve more people and help fill in some gaps in service that communities across the country are face.
What Pure Healthcare officials are still figuring out as they begin offering chronic illness care in the Miami Valley, are the challenges with regard to health care coverage for the services they're providing.
Anthony Evans says Ohio House Bill 286 opened the door for organizations like theirs to explore and meet challenges. The bill allowed for hospice-licensed facilities to provide inpatient, palliative care to non-hospice patients.
“So, really it allows a framework of inpatient care for chronic conditions and symptom management, which again, really hasn't been defined. It's a brand-new tool for clinicians, and the state of Ohio is really at the forefront of defining that from a regulatory standpoint,” he says. “We think it's a great tool the clinicians haven't had until now, but we haven't really described the payment or reimbursement structure for it yet in the state of Ohio. So, that's something we're actively working with payers today, to talk about how we could utilize the service for them to improve outcomes and again, provide community-based support."
Evans says there a lot of dynamics involved, and conversations to be had as they look at insurance models and reimbursement services.
The décor of Pure Healthcare’s new facility in Centerville and its amenities are designed to make people suffering from chronic illness as comfortable as possible. It features a small spa, large comfortable rooms for the clients who may stay there, and other amenities like a full kitchen dining area and a small bistro.
Two of the three floors are still under construction, but Pure Healthcare is expected to be fully operational this spring. You can find out more about them at www.purehealthcare.org.