In an effort to enhance the depth and scope of end-of-life care services in the Atlanta metropolitan area and throughout theEmory Healthcare system, based in Atlanta,VistaCare (Scottsdale, Arizona) andEmory Healthcare(Atlanta) said that they have a number of service agreements, including an agreement to develop a 28-bed hospice inpatient unit at Budd Terrace. Budd Terrace is a skilled nursing facility located on Emory Healthcare’s Wesley Woods Center campus.

The agreements are designed to enable the provision of hospice services by VistaCare in a variety of settings and capacities. VistaCare will be available to serve hospice eligible patients in Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Emory University Hospital, and Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, as well as residents living in the Budd Terrace nursing facility.

Additionally, VistaCare will lease the sixth floor of Budd Terrace to develop and operate a new hospice inpatient unit, with medical director and clinical services provided under service agreements with the Emory Clinic. The hospice inpatient unit is expected to open in the fall of 2005, with construction and renovation estimates projected at about $1.5 million. VistaCare expects to begin recruiting to fill multiple leadership and staff positions over the next several months.

In 2004, only 40% of eligible patients in the Atlanta metropolitan area received hospice care.