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Hospice provider to give “assistance with funeral arrangements”

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I’ve been on this bandwagon a long time and I can see it coming down the road.  The bandwagon I’m talking about is “hospice providers becoming part of the death care profession”.

In this article from Hospice News you can read about hospice provider Compassus beginning a pilot progam to, among other things, “assist with funeral arrangements”.  Compassus, who have 200 locations in 30 states recently announced that it is partnering with technology platform Empathy to “help the families of deceased patients navigate the logistical intricacies of a loved one’s passing.”

From my point of view, this is not really entering the “death care profession” but it is moving a hospice company one step closer to that reality.  I’ve always thought that hospice providers build an incredible relationship with most families that they serve simply because they are in the home everyday for up to six months.  Family caretakers have a great deal of respect for advice hospice personnel give them.

What if that included suggesting what funeral home to call?

Compassus CEO Jim Deal gives an idea of that relationship in this comment in the article, “It’s one of the big differences between hospice care and almost any other health care service; we take care of the family unit.  There is always the grief and loss that people experience, but also the hard realities that many families aren’t prepared for. We hope that this Empathy program is an opportunity to be additive to the things we already do.”

When you think of almost any business, the earlier that you can retain a client, the more services you have a chance to provide that customer.  In the funeral home business it goes from PreNeed to Death Care to Cemetery services to Monuments and finally to Aftercare.  The earlier you can win that client on that spectrum of services the more profitable that client can be to you.

I’m pretty up on the Senior Care market as I have served on Boards of Directors, and as Chairman,  of two Senior Health/Living companies.  In those businesses the chain of business went from 55 and over wellness centers to Home Care to Independent Living Apartments to Assisted Living Units, to Nursing Home units, to Hospice Care.  I can envision these companies, as they continue to grow adding things like lawn care and other home services on the far end of the spectrum and adding death care/cremation services on the other end to keep growing captured client revenues.

Hospice in the funeral/cremation business isn’t happening tomorrow. . . . .but, I still think it may be a likely combination in the future.

Hospice Growth

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One Comment

  1. A very slippery slope here. I think Hospice is moving very quickly into the funeral services delivery arena. I have said that in responses to this column before. They are doing the very things I have said our profession needs to do but isn’t. They have a nomenclature and purpose for their services. They have on-going marketing to make their services well known and create needs fulfillment. I think they could control a major part of the market by default. I predict they will be larger than the public corporations in the funeral services domain.

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