VITAS: Innovative Hospice Care Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Vitas Healthcare has been one of the country’s oldest and largest hospice care providers in the world. It was founded in the year 1978. The company was founded to serve the needs of the patients that cannot be duplicated by other similar service providers. The company has focused on providing quality services to control the financial health of the company. The care and the level of quality offered by Vitas gives all the patients the direct result of patient care, and it also gives the control, professionalism and the level of quality through its business.

The hospital is aiming to provide an alternative to the regular treatment in the hospital for those patients who are terminally ill and do not have a very long life. Basically hospice was initiated to offer support and help, to those patients who were dying. Hospice offered such patients with palliative care, rather than the traditional curative care. The idea was to ensure that such patients could enjoy their remaining life with dignity and comfort at the maximum level. The services offered by Vitas are offered in 5 states where it has 27 offices.

Strategic, Tactical, and/or Operational Issues

Strategic Issues

The strategic issues presented in the case are the fact that the company Vitas has been looking to make acquisitions within the fragmented hospice industry. Vitas have faced the strategic issue where it does not have a clear and concrete execution plan to actually acquire a firm. Vitas has a vision of becoming a for-profit hospice where it does not have a proper execution plan to actually become a for-profit firm by making a particular acquisition that can ensure and help Vitas.

Tactical Issues

The tactical issues at Vitas is that since Vitas Hospice has focused itself as a for-profit organization from a not for-profit organization, it has been facing quite a few issues in its operations. First of all employees tend to believe and in fact perceive that, since the organization has transformed itself into a profit earning organization it will definitely loose the quality of service it would be offering to the patients.

Employees believed that Vitas will start to work upon their costs and profits rather than caring for humanity. This has been the main tactical issue because it is necessary for the management to deal with the employees and make them realize that although the focus has shifted to for-profit organization but still it is important for the employees.

Operational Issues

However, Vitas has faced the operational issue where it does not have a clear and concrete execution plan to actually acquire a firm. The organization has made a simple mistake where it did not actually anticipate the three hour time difference, for instance the Florida and the California state. For example, when California hospices needs support for patient, family services, account payable or the billing the corporate office for Vitas is closed and the employees have left for the day. This is a serious issue because no one is present to guide and take charge of such operational daily issues.

Conceptual Factors

The conceptual factors that have been identified in the case which are relevant to the issues that have been identified in the case in terms of strategic issues, tactical issues and the operational issues are as follows:

As the case states, Vitas has the vision of providing customer with the optimum and ultimate support. The vision of the company included servicing of each patient that had come to hospice in order to find dignity and peace in the remaining time. Although the vision was quite clear and well directed, but the nature of business and the industry norms were not favoring the entire situation. The employees which included in the team were a group of 5 which included a number of different team members for the team.

External environmental factors

The external factors that are presented in the case that have actually come up because of the three types of issues which include the strategic issues, the tactical issues and the operational issues are the fact that since the company Vitas is looking to grow and expand, the uncontrollable factor is that it is a fragmented market. This cannot be controlled by Vitas, infact it has to deal with it in an efficient manner. Along with this, the perception of employees has also been changed where they belief being a profit oriented organization will leave the company focusing on sales and revenue, while patient treatment will become a secondary importance for Vitas...................

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Vitas, non-profit hospice has grown through acquisitions and start-ups. The Company believes the storage strategy, and Deirdre Lawe must decide whether to make a particular purchase. "Hide
by Roger Hallowell, Tonicia Hampton Source: Harvard Business School 33 pages. Publication Date: October 10, 1999. Prod. #: 800031-PDF-ENG

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