What is hospice?
- Hospice is a coordinated program of palliative and supportive care with the focus on comfort care rather than curative care for those individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness.
What is palliative care?
- Palliative care is relief of pain: the treatment and relief of mental and physical pain without curing the causes, especially in patients suffering from a terminal illness.
What does “terminally ill” mean?
- A medical prognosis of approximately six months or less if the disease runs its natural course. Common examples of terminal illnesses are:
- End-stage Cardiopulmonary Conditions
- End-stage Heart Disease
- End-stage Lung Disease
- End-stage Liver Disease
- End-stage Renal Disease
- Cancer (All Types)
- Neurological Conditions
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- End-stage HIV/AIDS
- End-stage Dementia
- End-stage Alzheimer’s Disease
- Other Disorders/Diagnoses
How is hospice care paid for?
- Medicare Part A
- Most commercial and private insurance companies
We view each situation as unique and will review the benefit plan with you individually in order to maximize your hospice benefit and insurance coverage.
What is covered under the hospice program?
- Staff services including nurses, social workers, physicians, chaplains, hospice aides, volunteers, etc.
- Medications related to the hospice diagnosis as well as comfort medications
- Durable Medical Equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, walkers and oxygen, as they pertain to terminal illness
- Medical supplies such as catheters and bandages, as they pertain to terminal illness
- Many additional services including bereavement and counseling services
Will I have to change doctors?
- We believe that a continued relationship with your primary care physician is important; therefore, the patient or family member may choose to continue their physician relationship or have one of our specialized hospice physicians oversee your care.
How long can I remain on hospice?
- The hospice benefit will continue to cover palliative and comfort care for an individual with a terminal illness for an initial 90-day period, a subsequent 90-day period, and indefinite subsequent 60-day periods as determined by the hospice medical director, and as long as you continue to meet the requirements of the hospice benefit.
Will I have to stop all of my medications?
- Our hospice views each case individually. We will work with your physician and pharmacy to determine which medications we will cover under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, which ones will be covered under your Part D plan, and which medications are determined to be no longer medically necessary and if continued, would become the financial responsibility of the patient.
How will hospice manage my pain?
- Our hospice team works with the patient and family to determine the needs for pain management. Each situation is individualized, with the goal being to provide the most effective pain relief.
Do I have to stay home all the time?
- You do not have to be homebound to receive hospice services. We encourage our patients to enjoy life as much as possible.
Does hospice provide sitters?
- The hospice benefit does not include sitters. The hospice may provide volunteers to stay with you for short periods of time if appropriate. Our hospice can provide you with a variety of resources listing sitter agencies who may be of service to you. The sitters are not employees of the hospice agency and therefore are not the responsibility of the hospice agency.
If I live in a nursing home, can I receive hospice care?
- Yes, our hospice provides hospice care where ever you live. This includes home, independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Is it necessary that I have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order to receive hospice?
- It is not necessary to have a DNR; however, our hospice will work with the patient and family to obtain a LaPOST, a living will, power of attorney and/or DNR, as necessary.
When is it time to begin hospice?
- It is time for hospice when all measures to cure the patient of the terminal illness have been exhausted and when the physician declares the patient has a prognosis of six months or less, if the disease runs its natural course. You can call us and get more information at any time. Click here to CONTACT US.
How do I get hospice?
- Your doctor may make the referral or you can request that someone from our hospice meet with you to give you information about the hospice benefit. Once an initial meeting is established, our hospice representative may contact your physician regarding your needs and request an approval for hospice services.