Q: What is the definition of hospice care?
A: Hospice care is a service provided by professionals to assist those with life-limiting illness in living their lives fully, completely and without pain until the natural end of their lives.
Q: Who makes a referral to hospice?
A: Anyone can make hospice care referral; however supporting clinical data will be requested from the patient’s attending physician or the pertinent treatment facility.
Q: Are there any eligibility requirements for receiving hospice care?
A: To be considered eligible for hospice care you must have a confirmed diagnosis of a life-limiting illness with a possible life expectancy that is generally within six months, based upon the current diagnosis.
Q: Is hospice care only available to the aged?
A: Hospice care is available to anyone facing a life-limited illness regardless of their age.
Q: How long does hospice care last?
A: There is no fixed time limit associated with hospice care. Hospice patients and families may receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending upon the course of the illness.
Q: How expensive is hospice care?
A: Those eligible for Medicare pay little or nothing for hospice services. Hospice care for those who are not eligible for Medicare care is typically covered under most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans.
Q: What role will my current physician have in the hospice plan?
A: You are encouraged to continue seeing your regular physician and while under our care, we will keep your physician apprised of your situation and status.
Q: Where is Hospice care provided…will I have to leave my home?
A: Hospice care can be provided wherever the patient may be, in their own home or a family member’s home, in a skilled nursing center, in an independent or assisted living community and in contracted hospitals. It is also provided in inpatient units and Veterans Administration hospitals.
Q: Are family members still able to care for loved ones receiving hospice care?
A: Yes. Family members are encouraged, supported and even trained by hospice professionals to help care for their loved ones. Nonetheless, hospice staff are available to assist patients and families in caring for their loved ones 24/7, every single day.
Q: When does hospice care end?
A: Hospice care does not end with the passing of the patient; for families and loved ones hospice services provide bereavement and grief support services for up to one year after the death of a patient.