Hospice Care Explained
Hospice care is a type of health service that is offered to patients with a terminal illness or who are no longer seeking aggressive or curative treatments. Hospice care can help extend the quality of life for the individual, providing a comfortable atmosphere where they are taken care of and can live peacefully.
Admission to hospice is typically based on a patient’s terminal diagnosis with a prognosis of six months or less. Through pain and symptom management, hospice addresses the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social end of life needs for both a patient and their family.
Common Hospice FAQs
Where is Hospice Care Offered?
Patients with terminal illness can receive hospice care where they are living. This may include their private residence, independent living communities, assisted living facilities, memory care units, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals.
How is hospice paid for?
Hospice is paid by Medicare, Medicaid, or other Private Health Insurance providers.
What does hospice care provide?
Hospice provides Physician services, skilled nursing care, medications, medical equipment and supplies, pain and symptom management, social work services, spiritual support, trained volunteer services, and bereavement support for patients (and their families) suffering from life-limiting illnesses.
Am I confined to my home on hospice?
No; hospice patients are free to leave their homes, visit with loved ones, and even travel.
Is hospice a place?
Hospice is actually a medical service that is provided to patients in whatever environment they are in.
Are all hospices the same?
Hospices are all required to follow the same federal rules and regulations set forth by Medicare and the Federal Government meaning that all hospices should provide the same care. However, much like individuals, no two hospices are exactly alike.
Does hospice mean imminent death?
No; hospice is a service providing quality of life and comfort measures to a patient suffering from a life-limiting illness.
Will I still see my Primary Care Physician?
If a patient would like to continue to see their PCP for conditions or medical issues unrelated to the hospice diagnosis we encourage patients to see their doctor.
When enrolling in hospice am I going to immediately have a nurse or a hospice provider with me 24/7?
No; when a patient’s symptoms are well managed and 24/7 nursing is not necessary.
If I enroll in hospice do I lose my insurance benefits?
No; a hospice diagnosis and the related symptoms (and their management) are what hospice is treating. These diagnoses are moving into your built in hospice benefit within your health insurance. All other diagnoses maintain their traditional insurance coverage.
If I’m on hospice I cannot call 911?
Yes you may call 911, however all hospices request that you call us first so that 911 is not necessary for your healthcare needs.