Hospice Care of Middletown receives rare five-star rating

Feb. 26—In the last 40 years, a Middletown hospice agency has changed names, office locations and affiliations, but its goal has remained.

"We're there for patients during the most difficult time in their lives," said Keith Clements, CEO and president of Hospice Care of Middletown. "It's a great responsibility."

Formerly Middletown Hospice before it merged with Dayton Hospice, it was recently recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for receiving a five-star rating, the highest possible.

There are 87 hospices in Ohio, and Hospice Care of Middletown was one of eight in the state to receive five stars and the only in Southwest Ohio, Clements said.

He said families that receive hospice care are sent 46-question surveys and they're asked to rank the services from one to five.

Clements called the survey "our score card, our grade card."

One of the questions asks whether the family would recommend that hospice to family and friends, said Beth Dorn, community liaison for Hospice Care of Middletown. She said 98% of those who responded to the questionnaire answered "definitely" to that particular question.

Dorn called that "a pretty awesome number."

The five-star award is "humbling in some ways." she said.

"Our team works so hard and is committed," she said. "We have a great team here. We are all committed and we all believe in this hospice."

The agency has boasted about the rating on a billboard near Interstate 75 and the Ohio 122 exit. The goal is to receive a five-star rating every year, Clements said.

"We don't want to have to take that down," he said of the billboard.

Hospice of Middletown opened in 1980 in the former Middletown Regional Hospital. About 20 years later, the hospice merged with Hospice of Dayton that eventually closed the Middletown office, upsetting local residents.

In 2005, a small group formed Hospice Care of Middletown. The agency is supported by 40 staff members and 50 volunteers who serve clients throughout the region.


To read the complete list, go to medicare.gov/hospicecompare.