Choices: Innovative In-home Palliative Care Program for Rural Underserved Population Initiative
Helios Care, a hospice organization based in Oneonta, New York, recognized that the lack of palliative care among a marginalized, low-income rural community was a problem. Whole person centered palliative care is rarely offered to rural patients; difficult to access in a community with a shortage of providers; and, hampered by limited funding for reimbursement. The focus of the newly created Choices program was patients with serious illnesses not receiving adequate symptom management with psychosocial and economic challenges preventing access to medical care.
The Helios Care Choices program is the only program that provides free patient centered, evidence-based palliative care to patients in their homes in three rural counties of New York State. It has increased the comfort and quality of life for patients while reducing healthcare costs. An original budget of $396,400 was awarded by a private foundation to create the program and served 80 patients on a trial basis. Quality of life has increased dramatically for these patients.
Alicia L. Fish
Development and Marketing
Gail Ciccarello, ACHPN
Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner
Director of Access
Reaching the Patients in Need