Medicare Care Choices in CT

RHHS delivers palliative & hospice care through Medicare Innovation Model

Bud Hawley, Barbara Kiselak, Carolyn Hawley

(L to R:) Ervie “Bud” Hawley, Barbara Kiselak, Carolyn Hawley

(Danbury, CT) Regional Hospice and Home Care (RHHC) is the only hospice organization in the state of Connecticut chosen to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Innovation Model. The highly selective pilot program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is underway in only 140 of the 5300 eligible hospice providers around the country.

What makes the Choices Innovation Model so unique is its emphasis on providing hospice or palliative care services concurrently with curative medical treatments. Medicare beneficiaries living with life-limiting illnesses such as advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and HIV/AIDS will have access to more options in care, including psychosocial, spiritual and volunteer services, which are likely to increase their quality of life and satisfaction.

“The Choices Innovation Model feels like a better level of care for patients and their families who previously had to make a very difficult decision,” said RHHC’s Medical Director, Randy Seewald, MD. “Being able to provide treatment options along with hospice or palliative care also empowers our dedicated clinical and social support teams to fully address all of a patient’s needs.” Patients like Carolyn Hawley of Danbury are already reaping the benefits.

Hawley’s daughter, Barbara Kiselak, appreciates the services her family has received through the Choices Model, including social work and spiritual support, volunteer visits and thoughtful clinical oversight. “Our Regional Hospice nurse is a great liaison between the doctor’s office and my mother’s caregiver. She makes sure that all of her medications are accurate, her screening tests are up-to-date and that there is never any confusion,” she states. Kiselak’s father, Ervie “Bud” Hawley also received hospice care from Regional Hospice. He died peacefully at home in April. Barbara is so grateful for all of the support that the agency has provided that she is competing in Brookfield’s Dancing Stars charity event in support of RHHC’s hospice patient care.

The Medicare Care Choices Innovation Model at RHHC is accepting patient referrals from area physicians, as well as, via patients or family members who are interested in receiving hospice and palliative care services concurrently with curative treatments. This pilot program is planned to provide comprehensive, cost-effective care through the end of 2021. Contact RHHC at 203-702-7400 or visit to learn more.

Regional Hospice and Home Care’s team of experienced clinicians have been providing physical, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support to children, adults and their families through our palliative and hospice care program for the past 30 years. Regional Hospice and Home Care is a nonprofit, state-licensed and Medicare-certified home health care and hospice agency. Now, with the opening of our new private-room, specialty hospital for palliative and end-of-life care — the Center for Comfort Care & Healing — Regional Hospice and Home Care can bring that same hope and compassionate care close to home and under one roof.

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