Permission sought for new hospice Bay Area proposes non-profit service

November 27, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

A health-care service owned by a group of Maryland Shock Trauma Center physicians is seeking state approval to begin providing hospice services in Baltimore and five Central Maryland counties, including Carroll.

Bay Area Health Care Inc., which is affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical Center, offers home care to patients leaving University Hospital.

The corporation plans to add hospice care to its services.

Julie Flaherty, executive director of Carroll Hospice, the existing volunteer hospice service, expressed concern that the proposed service might affect her organization's ability to raise money.

But she said she is not ready to say whether she will recommend that the Carroll Hospice governing board oppose Bay Area's application.

"We don't see ourselves in competition with Carroll Hospice," said David A. McDaniel, Bay Area's executive director.

Mr. McDaniel pointed to state projections that 60 additional Carroll residents will need hospice services by 1994.

Bay Area anticipates serving only about eight patients in the county.

"Our proposal will only meet a small part of the need," he said.

Bay Area is seeking approval from the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission to provide hospice services to patients from Baltimore and from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

The service would be available to terminally ill patients who have been discharged from University of Maryland Hospital.

Although Bay Area is a for-profit corporation, the hospice care will be set up as a non-profit service, Mr. McDaniel said.

He said that most of the terminally ill patients are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and that Bay Area's fees will be equal to hospice service reimbursements from the two medical assistance programs.

Carroll Hospice has about 25 patients, Ms. Flaherty said. The organization does not charge for services but accepts Medicare reimbursements.

The hospice service may provide food or pay bills for families who need financial help, Ms. Flaherty said.

Bay Area had to submit a separate application for its proposed hospice service in Carroll County because the state health-care system places Carroll in Western Maryland.

However, the county is generally considered to be part of Central Maryland.

The application will go before the Western Maryland Health Planning Agency for a recommendation to the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission.

The commission will approve or deny the proposed service.

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