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Hospice Care of Kansas lays off 28 following acquisition

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Hospice Care of Kansas, which bills itself as the largest hospice provider in the state, has laid off 28 workers, the company confirmed Wednesday.

According to information on a Kansas Department of Commerce website, Hospice Care notified the state Feb. 21 that it would lay off 30 workers.

Hospice Care responded to an Eagle request for an interview by e-mailing a statement Wednesday from Rick Breuss, Hospice Care’s vice president of operations.

Breuss said that layoffs “are always a difficult decision” but that the cuts “were part of the natural progression of integration following the acquisition of the company by Harden Healthcare.”

He said in the statement that some Hospice Care administrative positions were duplicative of others within Harden.

“So the decision was made to reduce those positions,” Breuss said in the statement.

He said the company intends, instead, to beef up its number of caregivers.

“We are hiring additional experienced clinical and regulatory staff in our locations to better serve the needs of our patients,” Breuss said.

Those additional caregivers include home health aides and registered nurses, he said. The company plans to increase direct patient care by RNs and reduce the number of patients seen by home health aides, Breuss said.

“We are also focused on standardizing care to provide quality of life and dignity to patients facing end-of-life illnesses and support for their families,” he said.

Hospice Care is one of two area hospice providers owned by Harden Healthcare of Austin, Texas. The other is Faith Home Health and Hospice.

Mark Rowe founded Hospice Care in 1999 and sold it to Voyager HospiceCare, which Harden acquired in 2010.

In November, Hospice Care consolidated its two Wichita locations into two floors at Via Christi’s West River Plaza, 2622 W. Central. It has 92 employees in Wichita and 326 employees in Kansas.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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