Sizable Donation Bolsters Hospice Services in Mahaska County

By Jason Van Arkel, November 12, 2019

A recent donation by a division of the Mahaska Health Foundation will bolster hospice care in Mahaska County.

The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary donated $65,000 to the Hospice Serenity House. The money for the donation was raised through proceeds from this year’s Share the Love fundraiser, which was held in February.

“No one is turned away from the Serenity House due to an inability to pay for services,” said Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary President Amber Coffey, “and last year, the Serenity House provided close to $100,000 in support for families. Thanks to the generous support from the community for this year’s Share the Love fundraiser, we were able to make a sizable donation to help support this vital community resource.”

The donation will benefit the Hospice Charity Care program. Mahaska Health Hospice Coordinator Kim Stek said there are three different levels of care at the Serenity House, and each level is paid at a different per diem by Medicare or private insurance. The per diem is to cover all visits, including nurses, social workers, aides, chaplains, volunteers and any other therapy deemed necessary by the interdisciplinary group team.

Mahaska Health CEO Kevin DeRonde said that the Serenity House, like many hospice programs across the country, continues to feel the negative effects of a constantly declining reimbursement for inpatient hospice facilities.

“The reimbursement we receive from Medicare, which is responsible for a large part of our hospice funding, is often insufficient to cover the wide range of services provided to patients and family members as they cope with a life-limiting illness,” DeRonde explained. “Philanthropy and
support from the community for the Serenity House, as well as other hospital programs and services, is more important than ever.”

 

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