In order to cut costs, the Whidbey Island Hospital District is discontinuing its Home Health Care program after 32 years, the hospital announced this week.
Instead, the hospital district — also known as WhidbeyHealth — has worked out an operations transfer agreement with Eden Health, a unique, employee-owned division of Vancouver, Wash.-based EmpRes Healthcare Management LLC.
WhidbeyHealth reports that Eden Health has agreed to admit the hospital’s current patients and hire the hospital’s employees who work in Home Health Care.
The services should remain the same for patients and Medicare will continue to cover costs within the reimbursement structure, according to the hospital spokesperson.
Hospital officials report that the decision to transfer operations is financial for the district; the district struggled financially prior to the pandemic and the money problems have only gotten worse in the last year.
WhidbeyHealth has had an annual loss of $500,000 in operating home health care services, according to the hospital.
The operational transfer only applies to the home health care services, the spokesperson clarified. Hospice care and palliative care will remain within the hospital’s scope of practice.
WhidbeyHealth’s Home Health Care department offers a range of skilled services in home settings, which allows for quicker discharge from hospitals, according to the hospital’s website.
The services include physical and occupational therapy, nursing, wound care and social services.
The transition will occur on June 1, the hospital reported.