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Sale of Washington, D.C. Hospice Facility Shows Trend Toward In-Home Care

Updated on September 25, 2015

Hospice Care is Being Replaced by In-Home Care

The controversial planned land sale of a Northwest Washington hospice facility to the upscale Sidwell Friends School demonstrates a trend toward in-home care of elderly persons.

The trend is transforming the real estate industry for elder care from centralized nursing homes to a decentralized network of caregivers, according to a report by The Legal Forum (www.legal-forum.net).

The Washington Home is the District’s only inpatient hospice facility for Medicaid patients. More than 100 of them live there.

By the end of 2016, they will be pushed out after Washington Home officials agreed to sell the six-acre property to Sidwell Friends School for $32.5 million.

Despite protests from residents who say they have nowhere else to live, Washington Home officials said they have no other choice. Their 127-year-old institution has been losing millions of dollars every year. Their financial projections show no improvement for the future.

Their facility that helps low-income persons is being replaced by the expansion of a nearby school for children of some of Washington’s wealthiest residents, including the family of President Obama. They typically pay about $40,000 a year for their children’s education.

Washington Home officials say they are not abandoning their residents. They plan to use the money from the sale to develop individualized care programs for each of them. A common theme would be greater reliance on in-home care.

In other words, their patients would live in their own homes but receive care on an out-patient basis.

Washington Home officials say they will be able to serve more Washington-area residents by spreading their budget more thinly among them. At the moment, their shrinking endowment is concentrated on maintaining the 200 private rooms, rehab facilities and spacious hallways for their building on Upton Street. The endowment also cannot cover rising medical expenses.

Washington Home’s board of directors recently hired Timothy Cox as its new chief executive officer. He developed a reputation for cost-cutting while he headed the Armed Forces Retirement Home for eight years.

Elderly Medicaid Patients Say They Have Nowhere Else to Live

The sale of a hospice care facility for Washington, D.C. Medicaid patients is leaving some of them with few alternatives for a residence.
The sale of a hospice care facility for Washington, D.C. Medicaid patients is leaving some of them with few alternatives for a residence.

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