NewsLocal News


RiverStone Health closing hospice facility in Billings

riverstone hospice.jpg
Posted at 12:06 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 18:40:15-05

RiverStone Health Home Hospice will close this summer in Billings, the agency announced Friday, largely because of struggles to raise enough money to support operations and find enough employees.

RiverStone officials said in a news release they will instead focus efforts on providing hospice care to patients at their own homes, regardless of their ability to pay.

The hospice at 2230 Mission Way has 18 employees who will be offered bonuses to remain at the facility until the closing date of June 30, according to RiverStone.

RiverStone's Board of Health made the decision to close at its Feb. 22 meeting after a financial analysis showed the hospice losing $340,000 through the first half of the 2024 fiscal year. The home has typically lost money and been subsidized through donations since 2012, and its net cost to RiverStone has ranged from $110,000 to $836,000 over the last 12 years.

The average daily number of patients in the 12-bed home has decreased from a high of an average of 11 patients in fiscal year 2015 to an average of seven patients in fiscal year 2023. Revenue has been reduced as the number of patients declined.

As of this week, 10 patients were in the hospice home and another 51 patients were receiving care in their own homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities, according to RiverStone.

“Under more robust funding levels, our inpatient Hospice Home operated as a mission-driven, community service, relying on the financial success of our entire organization to remain operational,” Jon Forte, RiverStone Health president and CEO said in a written statement. “Our goal with this closure is to ensure the sustainability of our organization, to support the continued employment of those on our Hospice Home team, and to strengthen our Community Hospice and Home Care programs, which remain core services of RiverStone Health.”

RiverStone Health is Yellowstone County's public-health department, providing clinic, health education and other medical services for residents county-wide.