Hospice Frequently Asked Questions:

What is hospice?

When medical care cannot offer a cure, hospice provides care, comfort and support for persons with life-limiting conditions as well as their families. The hospice team works to make the person comfortable and relieve their physical symtpms as well as provide emotional and spiritual support. 

Who can receive hospice?

To receive hospice, the person's physcian must be willing to state that death can be expected within 6 months if their disease follows its normal course. This does not mean that hospice services are limited to 6 months. Hospice can be provided as long as the person's physcian and the hospice team certifies that their condition remains life limiting and decline is noted.

What specific service are provided as part of hospice?

The hospice team will provide the following services to individuals in the home, wherever they consider home to be:

Manage pain and other symptoms, offer support with the emotional and spiritual aspects of dying, provide medications, medical supplies and equipment, teach family members skills to help them provide care, deliver special services like speech and physcial therapy if needed, provide short-term inpatient care when pain or other symptoms become too dificult to manage at home, and provide support and counseling to family members and loved ones.

Does insurance cover these services?

Hospice is provided regardless of one's ability to pay. Hospice is paid for by the Mediare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most private insurers. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, our agency will work with the person and their family to ensure services can be provided. Private insurance coverage varies, but generally includes as least some hospice coverage.

Will I have my own hospice team and how often will they visit?

Every person receiving hospice has access to a hospice registered nurse, social worker, chaplain, home health aide and hospice volunteer (also known as the inderdisciplinary team).  The frequency of visits by each team member is based upon the individual and family care needs. 

Is hospice available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Hospice care is available "on call" after the administrative office has closed, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Our agency has nurses and chaplains on call to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

What happens if I can't be cared for at home?

Care which is related to treatment for symptoms can be addressed at our Hospice House or many hospitals that have arrangements with our agency. Otherwise the patient may move to Hospice House for short term stays, respite for caregivers, and end of life care. Hospice House is not a long term care facility. If long term care is required, our social work staff can assist you in making these arrangements. 

Can I be care for by hospice if I reside in a nursing facility or other type of long-term care facility?

Hospice services can be provided to a person who has a life-limiting illness wherer they live. This means a person living in a nursing facility or long-term care facility can receive visits from the hospice team in  addition to the care and services provided by the nursing facility staff. Our agency has written agreements with most nursing homes in our service area that allow us to provide hospice services to their residents.