Hospice earns perfect score in survey

A Grand Junction-based organization that provides hospice and palliative care services in a six-county area of Western Colorado earned perfect marks during a recent onsite survey.

“We are very excited to have received notice that no deficiencies were cited for our survey,” said Terri Walter, chief administrative officer and senior vice president of HopeWest. “It is not unusual for a hospice to receive deficiencies from a survey, and this shows the tremendous effort on the part of all staff to provide excellent care in the framework of the necessary regulations.”

The Health Facilities Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment conducts unannounced onsite surveys of hospice organizations every five to seven years to check for compliance with state laws as well as federal regulations for those organizations that receive Medicare payments.

The goal of the surveys is to ensure hospices follow state and federal regulations — from administration organization to quality of patient care. Surveyors visit patients, talk with family members and staff, check medical records, review policies and procedures and assess the quality management program. If surveyors cite any deficiencies, a hospice must prepare a plan of correction and a re-evaluation occurs.

HopeWest offers a range of services to people facing serious illnesses, end of life and grief. The organization operates an in-patient care center in Grand Junction, the only one of its kind in Colorado outside Denver.

Since its inception in 1993, HopeWest has expanded both in terms of the number of families and geographic area the organization serves.

HopeWest served about 200 families in its first year and now serves more than 3,000 families annually. In addition to Mesa County, HopeWest serves Delta, Montrose and Ouray counties. The organization recently expanded into the Battlement Mesa and Parachute areas of Garfield County and Meeker area of Rio Blanco County.

Based on the results of anonymous employee surveys, HopeWest also has ranked among the best companies to work for in Colorado for three years and placed second in 2013 among large companies with 250 or more employees.