Hospice is a specialized level of care for those with life-limiting illnesses and their families. But many people are confused by the different things they have heard and may be unsure if Hospice care is right for them or their loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hospice?Hospice is a philosophy of care with an emphasis on improving quality of life. We provide comprehensive pain & symptom management to allow patients to live comfortably. Hospice care is meant for patients who are terminally ill or have a life-threatening illness. Hospice care is appropriate for patients of all ages.
Who can refer patients?Anyone can refer a patient to hospice. Our Hospice agency will work with you and your physician or the hospice physician to coordinate care.
Where can I receive services?Hospice patients are cared for in their homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and contracted inpatient hospital settings.
Who Pays for Hospice?Medicare, Medi-Cal & Medicaid plans, most private health insurance companies. Private pay is also available.
Myths & Facts of Hospice
Becoming a hospice patient means giving up hope.
Fact:Hospice is about quality of life and hope preservation. Hospice patients are encouraged to live life to the fullest.
Suffering is a part of hospice care because traditional medicine is no longer allowed.
Fact:Managing pain and symptoms is one of the key goals in hospice care. Medications are used as needed to control both.
Hospice is a place.
Fact:While there are hospice inpatient units, the majority of care is administered in the patient’s familiar surroundings such as their home, nursing home, or assisted living facility.
Hospice care is only for cancer patients.
Fact:Hospice care is for any patient with a terminal illness, which can include end-stage heart disease, COPD, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and AIDs, to name a few.
The Medicare hospice benefit covers only six months of care.
Fact:The Medicare hospice benefit covers the care of a hospice patient as long as the patient remains eligible.
Only a doctor can refer a patient for hospice care.
Fact:Actually, anyone can refer a patient for hospice care. The information will be taken and the patient’s doctor will be contacted to gain permission to assess the patient’s eligibility.
If you choose hospice care you can never see your family physician again.
Fact:Your family physician becomes a member of the patient care team and is regularly informed of the patient’s condition.
I cannot afford hospice care.
Fact:Most individuals who have Medicare have the Hospice Medicare Benefit, and most private insurances now have a hospice benefit. In fact, care is provided regardless of one’s inability to pay. With the Medicare or private insurance benefit, all hospice services are provided, and all medications equipment, and supplies related to the patient’s terminal illness are covered.
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