POV: A Message from Vivian Dodge, Executive Director of Talbot Hospice


As Executive Director of Talbot Hospice, I wish to respond to recent articles and reports on service failures within the Hospice Industry. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) published two reports this week based on recent investigations related to Hospice care across the nation. In summary, the OIG found that 20 percent of hospices have care deficiencies and the OIG was recommending greater scrutiny.

In addition, this prompted several news agencies to publish stories in the Washington Post, NBC News and NPR regarding care issues. It is unfortunate that a handful of Hospices across our nation have tainted the reputation and quality care most hospices provide. Greater scrutiny and actions should be taken against those hospices that are not meeting the quality standards or have adopted fraudulent billing practices.

I want to reassure all of you, our Talbot County community, that Talbot Hospice is providing high quality care. I have a longstanding solid background in regulatory compliance, and everything we do at Talbot Hospice meets all regulatory practices. Talbot Hospice is a stellar organization both in the care and services we provide, and in ethical behavior as well.

How unfortunate the actions by a small few become the impetus to paint the entire Hospice industry in a bad light, and the journalistic sensationalism of a few select stories erodes the confidence of the public. The overwhelming majority of hospice providers are doing wonderful work.

I am very proud of the care provided by Talbot Hospice and all our accomplishments. We are an ethical, regulatory compliant organization, and I stand behind our stellar reputation.

Yes, there are a few “bad apples,” and yes, those organizations should be closely monitored. As a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Regulatory Committee, we take these abuses seriously and will work with the OIG and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to assist in any way we are able.

I am proud of our organization and will stand behind our name and reputation. Rest assured Talbot Hospice is operating ethically. Thank you for your unwavering support and confidence in Talbot Hospice.

Vivian Dodge
Executive Director
Talbot Hospice

Letters to Editor

  1. Kristen Greenaway says

    Vivian, thank you for everything you and your team do.

  2. Dan Watson says

    It might be reassuring to your readers if you would also post a link the whatever website(s) exist that do present the results of State of Fed’l reviews and inspections. (I assume there are authoritative places folks can go to see available information–it’s just that none of us laymen know where they are!)

    Thanks for all the great work Talbot Hospice does!

  3. I am equally sorry to hear about gaps in hospice care. That has not been my experience or the experience of anyone that I have ever talked to about hospice care. It is a life changing experience for those who have had to watch a spouse or loved one pass. I kept the voicemail message from my hospice worker when she heard of my husband’s death. I listen to it from time to time for comfort.

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