VITAS Healthcare Houston, TX

Offers Hospice

21 Reviews
Call (800) 973-1841
VITAS Healthcare (800) 973-1841

Reviews of VITAS Healthcare

21 Reviews Write a review

Hospice Reviews for VITAS Healthcare

September 08, 2015

By Jordan B

I am a past client of this provider

Before signing my husband up for hospice care I read all the hospice reviews I could find. None of them made me feel very confident that we would have a good experience. Finally, I signed up with Vitas Hospice in Houston on Eastside Street because they were the only hospice on our health insurance's "smart care" list, which means that any costs would be fully covered by our insurance. But I was very leery after having read the reviews. However, I have to say that we had a very good experience with Vitas. My husband had stage IV prostate cancer and after five years of constant treatments, his body was finally giving out and he couldn't tolerate any more. I signed him up with Vitas on the last day of April 2015, and he died on the morning of July 28th, so we were with them for three months. My husband had cancer in all of his bones, so he was in a lot of pain. The pain medicine he had been on was not the sort that Vitas liked to use, but they allowed me to continue to use the medications I was familiar with, and were willing to provide me with them. We got a visit from our lovely hospice nurse, Denise, at least once each week. She was great! We always had the option of having a visit from a Vitas nurse any time of the day or night. If it was during business hours, Denise would come, even if she had already been that week. If it was after business hours, an on-call nurse would come. I utilized this option many time during the three months my husband was with Vitas, including in the middle of the night, for issues such as too much pain, constipation pain, and agitation. I had Denise's cell phone number, and could text or phone her anytime during business hours. After we got to know each other, she told me to text her anytime, even after hours, which I did once or twice. On the fourth of July weekend, Vitas sent nurses to stay with us around the clock because my husband was having terrible agitation and wouldn't stay in bed even though he was not strong enough to stand on his own. He also would not let me give him his medications. They stayed until we got his medication sorted out so that he wasn't so distressed. Basically Vitas was a resource for me, as I was my husband's caregiver. They came and helped with anything I needed, including bathing my husband, but they didn't interfere if I wanted them to leave us alone. At first we mostly wanted to be left alone, but as things got worse I needed help and advice. Denise and the other Vitas nurses helped me to understand what was happening to my husband as he progressively became less and less reachable, and ate and drank less and less. Because of the knowledge they imparted, I wasn't as distressed by this as I would have been when I couldn't get my husband to eat, drink or talk to me. They provided all the medication my husband needed, as well as a hospital bed, shower chair, etc. When my husband started to get bedsores, they ordered a specialized air mattress for him. When I complained that the noise of the air mattress pump was preventing both of us from sleeping, they exchanged it for a much fancier one that looked very expensive. They would deliver these items within a couple of hours of my requesting them. Please be aware that a hospice patient does not decline at a steady pace. There are generally sudden drops interspersed between gradual declines. For instance, a patient that was feeding him or herself yesterday may not be able to do so today, or may even suddenly refuse to eat at all. These sudden drops are most likely not the result of bad care on the part of a hospice, but rather the disease process itself. I took care of my husband myself 24 hours a day for the whole three months, and I know that he received the best care, and yet he still had these sudden drops. I have read hospice reviews which vilify the hospice because of these drops which most likely had nothing to do with the hospice. So keep that in mind when you read hospice reviews. Our experience with Vitas was not perfect. There were a couple of times when messages were not passed on, and one time when it took longer than normal to get a refill on medication (that wouldn't have happened except that Denise was on vacation), but I had planned ahead enough so that it wasn't a problem. If it had been, Vitas would have called their "hot shot" pharmacy and gotten the medication to me sooner. I am so grateful that Vitas made it possible for me to care for my husband at home. We were both so heartily sick of hospitals by that point. At home we were in charge of the routine, and we could choose what we wanted to do or not do. It's never easy to watch your loved one die, but doing so at home is much better than in hospital. My husband was as comfortable as it was humanly possible to make him. Most of the time he was not in pain, and his stress and agitation was much less than it would have been without the care Vitas provided. I would wholeheartedly recommend Houston Vitas Hospice.

Provider Response

Dear Jordan, Please accept my condolences for the loss of your husband. We appreciate you taking the time to provide a detailed account of your experience. I’m pleased to read that the VITAS Houston team enabled you to be fully equipped to care for your husband while he stayed in the comfort of your home. I have shared your feedback with the Houston management team and they send their gratitude. Thank you again for your kind words. Sincerely, Avni Parekh

June 03, 2015

By Uncle Albert

I am a past client of this provider

We had a very good experience with the Vitas facility in Conroe, Texas in February 2015 and my Dad's care. My Dad was in a local hospital and was in great pain. I could see that the hospital was NOT following Dad' s Advanced Health Care Directive (AHD) and they resisted my efforts to take care of my Dad, as per his AHD. So since he was deteriorating and the hospital was NOT providing the care Dad needed, I contacted Vitas for an evaluation late Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, while we struggled with the hospital, we took a break and we visited the Vitas facility in Conroe. We were very impressed with the weekend staff and the facility, itself. So on Monday, the Vitas nurse came to the hospital and evaluated Dad. She was excellent and agreed that they could provide the care Dad needed at Vitas, as per his AHD. She was very helpful and provided us with the support we needed to make some difficult decisions that day. The move to Vitas went smoothly and the care Dad received while at Vitas was excellent and we know this because we were there at Vitas, day and night until he passed. All in all, our Vitas experience was excellent all the way around, in every way.

Provider Response

Dear Uncle Albert, We thank you and your family for the privilege of serving and caring for your father at VITAS’ inpatient unit in Conroe. My name is Avni, I work for VITAS and I’m based in Miami, Florida. I’m sorry to read the hospital wasn’t following your father’s AHD. I’m glad you stepped in to make sure his end-of-life care wishes were carried out and I’m appreciative we could be a part of it. Our goal at VITAS is to make sure our patients are in control of their health care decisions. It’s important to us that we work with families and loved ones as well to ensure the patient remains as comfortable as possible. I have shared your feedback with the team, and wish you well during your time of healing. Please know we are still here to support you and your family. If you would like information about grief support, do not hesitate to reach out to me so I can put you in touch with the appropriate person. My condolences to you and your family for your loss. Sincerely, Avni Parekh

April 14, 2015

By barbara bledsoe

I interviewed this provider

my experience with vitas healthcare was so wonderful if you can say hospice is wonderful. my husband was dying from cancer and after fighting for two years and getting worse instead of better, he was in the hospital for 5 days and went home with vitas. when you are told your love one will leave the hospital with hospice it really knocks the wind out of your sails. but after getting over the shock I was very pleased to have them. I had around the clock help and that gave me a chance to rest at night the nurses were wonderful and treated my husband like he was their own. my husband was under their care for nine days. and all during that time they let me know everything that was going on from his meds to when they felt time was short. they always gave us plenty of private time with my husband. we had many good nurses and they were a help to me a well as my family and my husband. I choose vitas since my sister had had them for 30 days before she died and her son spoke highly of them. I pray I well never need hospice but if I do I would hire vitas with ought a second thought. Barbara bledsoe

Provider Response

Dear Barbara, I am sorry for the loss of your husband, and your sister, please accept my condolences. My name is Avni and I read all the comments posted about VITAS. Coming to terms with a loved one needing hospice care is not easy to take-in immediately, and understandably so. Our hospice teams put a lot of love into the care they deliver and often go above and beyond to make sure families are content as well. I am glad to read that you were pleased with our team and the care provided to your husband. Please pass along my condolences to your nephew for the loss of his mother and we appreciate him speaking highly of us. We are still here if you'd like more information about our grief resources, feel free to reach out to me. Sincerely, Avni Parekh

September 15, 2014

By AnaBanana

Other

My recently deceased husband was a patient at the Memorial City site. Although his inpatient care was excellent, the care we received as a family after his death has been atrocious. Having anybody return phone calls is almost a lost cause - it's takes a minimum of between one and three days to get answers if you have a question. The doctor pronouncing his death left town before signing the death certificate, delaying cremation and interment at the national cemetery by weeks. Incomplete filling out of that certificate has resulted in the expense necessary to amend and revise the death certificate and cost of new corrected copies. My advice for anybody who needs hospice for their loved one is to choose another agency.

Provider Response

My name is Dionn Jones, I am the General Manager of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Houston. First of all, let me say that we feel deep sympathy for your loss. We understand how painful and difficult it is to lose a loved one, and we would like to offer our sincere condolences to you. We also regret to read your comments about our services which we take very seriously. As you know, our Patient Care Administrator has been in touch with you about the concerns and requests you made. If there is anything else we can help you with at any time, please call me at 713-663-4900 or contact me via email at Dionn.Jones@vitas.com. As the nation's leading provider of end-of-life care since 1978, we are proud of our high patient and family satisfaction scores and our commitment to providing the quality care and services for which our company is known. I hope to hear from you soon if you have any other matters we can help you with. Sincerely, Dionn Jones.

July 23, 2014

By Angry in Atascocita

I am a current client of this provider

My mother-in-law chose this facility because she felt that they'd taken good care of her father. What a mistake! Our main nurse and in home care giver are wonderful, but the time that they can spend is limited because the place is so short staffed, which says to me that they don't pay well. They say that someone will be there overnight or whatever if you need it, but they don't tell you how truly limited the situations where it is "needed" are. She had over 12 hours of sever agitation and sleeplessness before they finally sent someone, then they tricked us into sending her to their facility rather than pay for one more shift of in-home help, like we'd asked. They said that they could get the calming meds into her faster and stop the suffering more quickly in-patient, plus administer more oxygen than at home, so it was worth the trauma of moving her across town. Visited today and found out she'd finally gone to sleep on her own many hours after they took her. When we called at 11:30 the night before they said it wouldn't be long cecause they were waiting on the doctor. Didn't tell us it was until this morning. She could have stayed here and should have. I feel violated. I promised her that she could stay at home and would not have gone back on that unless convinced it was better for her.

April 29, 2014

By Caring91036250

I am/was a resident of this facility

I have been living in Vitas for about a week. They’ve been very efficient about ordering equipment and getting my medications delivered. The problem is, I don’t get food. The staff is very nice, cordial, and very good.

December 13, 2013

By Caring68393050

I am a past client of this provider

VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Houston did a very good job with my mom. She has only been there for 5 days. However, their service was very well done. I will recommend them to others.

November 28, 2013

By Caring73719150

I am a current client of this provider

We’ve been using Vitas for almost two weeks now for my dad. The hospice people are coming to his house. We have nurses, doctors, and volunteers and they are wonderful people. I would recommend them to others.

September 09, 2013

By Cindy wargo

I interviewed this provider

My dear best friend of 30yrs chose Vitas as her Hospise care while at Legend Oaks Nursing Home at Gessner and West Rd. I was present for the initial sales pitch, where she was promised 3 hr scheduled pain relief,math at someone would be there to make sure she got her meds on time, and a doc on call to handle status changes in her decline of life. NONE OF THESE THINGS HAPPENED! My. Friend, dying of throat cancer could not get morphine nor dilauted , because she could no longer swallow pills, and the nursing home swears, they started contacting VITAS early Wed am , asking for liquid Meds! Aug 22, the evening my dear friend passed, Vitas shows up at about 7 pm, and spends my friend's last,two hours hunting for a DR to get the Meds she needed! Worse yet, I approached her several times, tellingmhernhow much pain my friend weas in, and she never left her desk! My friend died with no pain Meds form36'hrs, passing from throat cancer and Crohns ! This is a horrible company!

May 24, 2013

By nevernever

I am a past client of this provider

When my mom was in inpatient care, it was wonderful. She got round the clock care with amazing doctors and nurses, who supported me and were available. When I had to move her to a nursing home, it was awful. My mother had a seizure and I could not contact the hospice doctor for days. Nobody would return my calls.They told me to try to find the doctor myself. I was going all over the nursing home trying to look for this doctor I had never seen before. I was so desperate for help and distraught that Vitas would not respond to me that I almost committed suicide. Worst time of my entire life. I still have post traumatic stress from the whole experience.

May 16, 2013

By bskel

I am a past client of this provider

Do NOT use Houston Vitas for your hospice care! Read this first! We hired them because they were referred to us by the nursing home where my mom was staying as she was nearing the end of her life and we wanted to be assured of a pain free last few days. I will leave out the horrible details but suffice it to say that I spent 48 hours trying to get morphine for my mother who was in horrible pain. Phone messages did not get forwarded, the nurse received messages that were never forwarded because it was her day off, the pharmacy lost the prescription UNBELIEVABLE INCOMPETENCE. My mother finally received the morphine 3 hours before she died after spending 2 days in horrible pain. I will never forgive myself for hiring such a worthless hospice care company.

July 26, 2011

By smscott

I am a past client of this provider

I dealt with vitas briefly at the end of my mothers life. Our initial nurse came to the hospital and assisted me with great caring and welcome honesty.the time my mother was in the facility was very brief but refreshingly gentle and kind.their follow up with me was consistent but not pushy.

June 03, 2009

By Kathy Hofmann

I used this service

Very disappointed with actual services offered, compared to the presentation given when we choose Vitas for my Grandmother's care. Planning to change providers, but to put her and us through more changes is insult to injury!! I can't even get calls returned, no scheduled times what-so-ever provided for nursing visits, volunteers or aides. Not the place to use when you need support
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About VITAS Healthcare

VITAS Healthcare&reg, the nation's leading hospice provider, delivers comprehensive care for patients facing life-limiting illness. Services include Intensive Comfort CareSM for acute symptom management; after-hours Telecare with immediate access to clinicians; specialized offerings for veterans and AL/LTC residents; educational in-services, grief/loss programs; outcome measurements and more. For more information, please visit us at VITAS.com or call 800.93.VITAS.

Services

  • Paw Pals (pet therapy)
  • Music therapy
  • Special veteran's programs
  • Memory bears made from patient's garments
  • Lap blankets for all IPU patients

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Services and Amenities of VITAS Healthcare

Medicare

  • Medicare Provider Number: 451536
  • Ownership Type: Proprietary Corporation
  • Date Certified: 10/10/1989
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