Horizon Health working towards hospice certification

Plans are to begin offering services in October

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

In May, Rebecca Kapsner took the job of Director of Hospice at Horizon Health. For several years prior, the facility has been working toward becoming hospice Medicare certified.

Rebecca Kapsner

Kapsner has been working on making that a reality through the creation of policies and procedures related to Horizon Health Hospice.

“Horizon Health has hired a consultant who I meet with weekly and is helping us build a hospice program that will be unique to the facility,” said Kapsner. For the past two weeks, as part of that process, she has been interviewing potential applicants for a chaplain, medical director and hospice aides.

“We have started the process by applying for state licensure. From there, we will need to take on five patients at no cost to them. The state will then do surveys and inspections of the program and from there, we will receive the hospice and medicare certification,” said Executive Director Bridget Britz.

Currently, contracts with hospitals and assisted living facilities are in place and Horizon Health is hiring and training health care personnel. Plans are to be ready to take patients in October.

After certification, Horizon Health will be able to give hospice care to anyone in need in Morrison County and  within a 20-mile radius of the Pierz facility. Patients can be at home, in a nursing home or a hospital.

When Horizon Health begins its hospice services, sometime in October, the facility will then be offering a full spectrum of care for seniors. Those options will cover care from the simplest of services such as offering rides to doctor appointments to assisted living and hospice care.

This fall, Horizon Health is planning a two-day hospice training course with a multidisciplinary approach. The facility welcomes volunteers, clergy, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, pharmacists, social workers and funeral directors to attend.

“For the professionals attending the training, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19, and Wednesday, Oct. 3, continuing education credits will be given,” said Kapsner.

“The world of seniors is changing, both in their needs and financially,” said Britz. “Horizon Health is there to better serve the county’s residents and how they want to live.”

Britz said Horizon Health’s focus is on people  which fits with a hospice program’s goal to offer what is best for individuals.

“Each person needs and wants different things, whether it’s dying at home or in a hospital,” said Horizon Health Marketing Director Vickie Villebro. “Each person needs their social, emotional and physical needs addressed when in hospice, as do each family member. Horizon Health will continue to take care of the family’s needs for 12-13 months after the death of their loved one.”

Horizon Health helps with independent senior housing, senior services, home care, assisted living, people with developmental disabilities and veterans care and housing.

Its mission is to provide healthy living options for people within the communities served by Horizon Health. Its vision is to positively impact the quality of life of older family members and neighbors living within the hometown they supported. Through careful planning and partnering, Horizon Health ensures access to healthy living choices all through life. Its vision is a senior friendly environment where community members will maintain active, healthy and independent lives.

For more information contact Horizon Health at (320) 468-6451.