NEWS STORIES

Rising hospice care concerns?Submitted: 02/19/2014

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WOODRUFF - By 2015, 3 out of 10 people in Wisconsin will be considered part of the aging population.

But the issue of whether or not hospice facilities are draining Medicare for a profit is a nationwide issue.

“When those articles came out, those national articles, we were upset and hurt," said Leslie Schmidt, admissions coordinator at Seasons of Life Hospice Care. Unfortunately, our agency gets lumped into and we are very proud of what we do here at Ministry [Health Care]."

Schmidt is talking about a recent Wsshington Post article that states, “the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying.”

Schmidt believes that accusation spoils the benefit of hospice care.

"It creates an inherit distrust for the services that are provided, that are legitimate, caring services that are provided by people who do good work, said Schmidt.”

Some hospice patients are sent home because their Medicare benefits are revoked.

“That’s why Medicare has very clearly defined guidelines of what the last six months of someone’s life looks like.”

Schmidt doesn’t deny that Medicare fraud in the hospice care industry exists, but she doesn’t want that to take away from good work that hospice care providers do.

“[Those] kinds of stories in particular are stories of interest. In that story, the people and the agencies that do good work, which are following the rules of Medicare, and other insurance programs get lost.”

It’s possible that the meaning of hospice is changing. Fewer people are dying in hospice care, but more people are relying on it.

“The biggest misconception is that hospice is a place that people go to at the end of life," said Melissa Salaam, who is the patience care supervisor at Ministry. Really, what it is, is the hospice teams comes to them, wherever they call home.”

For registered nurse Chris Reed-Roeser, being a hospice caregiver is a dignified job to have.

“There are two things that I feel are the best part of my job. One being; that I work with an awesome group of people. I work with people who feel the same passion about end of life care as I do," said Reed-Roeser. "Secondly, going home at night and just knowing that you made a difference.”








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Story By: Kalia Baker

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Celebrating Easter Sunday traditionally Submitted: 04/20/2014

RHINELANDER - People celebrate Easter Sunday in different forms of fashion.

Some might have Easter breakfast or have their own Easter Egg Hunt.

Others might take a traditional route and head to church.

Newswatch 12’s Shardaa Gray found out how one church celebrates Easter Sunday.

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Support for survivors of suicide Submitted: 04/20/2014

RHINELANDER - Losing someone to suicide can be difficult.

But it's a reality some families in the Northwoods have to live with.

The suicide rate in north-central Wisconsin has gone up in 2013.

Suicide experts believe high levels of depression and alcoholism in Wisconsin contribute to more suicides.

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First indoor Easter egg huntSubmitted: 04/20/2014

MANITOWISH WATERS - Most Easter egg hunts take place outside.

But with the recent snow fall, some were in danger of being canceled.

One Northwoods camp found an alternative to keep the festivities going.

Camp Jorn YMCA in Manitowish Waters hosted their first Easter Egg Hunt.

More than 30 kids ran around inside of the camp.

Camp Jorn daycamp director says they got the idea from Boulder Junction's Easter Egg Hunt.

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Wisconsin DNR assessing winter deer killSubmitted: 04/20/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are using road-kill and radio-tracking data to assess the harsh winter's effect on the state's deer herd.

Department of Natural Resources staffers are looking for 10 carcasses in every county so they can check a number of biological signs, such as fat stores and pregnancy.

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34 Acres burned in Township of Cary Submitted: 04/19/2014

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WOOD COUNTY - Pittsville fire fighters put out a field fire in the Township of Cary Saturday.

It burned more than 34 acres.

Pittsville Fire chief says it happened around 1:55 Saturday afternoon.

Rock and Vesper fire departments also helped put the fire out.

The DNR also helped by using a patrol plane to spot the fire.

The chief says it started after debris traveled from a burn barrel.

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Easter weekend brings in more businessSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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MINOCQUA - Easter weekend normally brings in a lot of tourist.

For business owners, that means an increase in sales.

The Pine Cone Boutique in Minocqua says they've seen an increase in customers.

They're right off Highway 51 North, right next to McDonald's.

One of the sales associates just started working there.

But she could tell that business picked up quickly.

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Police rescued 22 animals from home Submitted: 04/19/2014

OSHKOSH - A Winnebago County woman has been arrested after authorities found nearly two dozen animals living in deplorable conditions in the Town of Clayton.

WGBA-TV reports that since Thursday, authorities have rescued 17 horses and five dogs from the home. Winnebago sheriff's detective Chris Braman says they did not look healthy.

Another three horses were found dead.

Cattle Rescue Inc. will be caring for the surviving horses. Director Bill Blemke says they are malnourished.

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