NYU-Affiliated Aliviado Lands $6.1M for Hospice Dementia Care

Aliviado Health, an initiative run out of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, has landed $6.1 million to study how hospice patients can benefit from effective dementia care. Announced Monday, the funding news is yet another example of both the demand for hospice and specialized dementia care services.

Developed by Ab Brody, associate director of the Hatford Institute and an NYU professor, Aliviado teams up with home-based care providers by offering educational materials, training tools, mentorship programs and treatment algorithms focused on dementia care. The $6.1 million in funding for Aliviado — formally launched in August — comes from a National Institute on Aging grant.

The National Institute on Aging is part of the National Institutes of Health.

About 16% of patients in hospice care have dementia as their primary diagnosis, making it the second most common hospice diagnosis after cancer, according to NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Hospice providers often have trouble caring for patients with dementia because of the challenge and complex symptoms associated with the set of diseases.

“Despite high rates of dementia in hospice care, little research has been performed on how hospices can best help people with dementia and their caregivers to ensure as high a quality of life as possible during the vulnerable period at the end of life,” Brody said in a statement. “Through further research, we aim to improve the quality of dementia care, support family caregivers, and empower hospice clinicians to provide effective and compassionate care for people with dementia.”

Since launching, Aliviado has been working with large, not-for-profit home health and hospice agencies located across the U.S., Brody previously told Home Health Care News. Aliviado — Portuguese for “relief” — had been planning on partnering with a group of 27 hospice agencies as part of “a future project,” he said.

Aliviado’s grant is for five years and will fund two phases of research. The first will include a year-long process to further tailor Aliviado’s dementia care program for the hospice setting and launch pilots in two hospice agencies.

The second phase, which will last four years, will roll out a randomized clinical trial in 25 hospice agencies across the country, including more than 20 hospice agencies that are part of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this critically important study to improve care for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families at the end-of-life,” Tom Koutsoumpas, president and CEO of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, said in a statement. “The dementia population is growing rapidly and we are committed to ensuring they have access to the highest-quality hospice care and look forward to partnering on this trial to work toward achieving that vision.”

Washington, D.C.-based National Partnership for Hospice Innovation is a nationwide collaborative of over 60 non-profit, community-based hospice and palliative care organizations.

Alzheimer’s disease — a form of dementia — is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from heart disease have decreased by 11%, while deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 123%.

In addition to the member agencies of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, other hospice agency partners include Vitas and Providence TrinityCare Hospice in California.

Vitas, one of the nation’s largest providers of end-of-life care, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Chemed Corporation (NYSE: CHE), which released its third quarter earning results for 2018 on Monday.

Vitas’ net patient revenue was $302 million during the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 4.4% from the same quarter a year prior, according to the company. Its average daily census was 17,957, an increase of 7.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Written by Robert Holly

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Robert Holly
When Robert's not covering the latest in home health care news, you can likely find him rooting for the White Sox or roaming his neighborhood streets playing Pokemon Go. Before joining HHCN, Robert covered everything from big agribusiness to the hottest tech startups. 

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