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Hospice

Compassionate, Patient-Centered End-of-Life Care

Hospice is a patient-centered approach to improve the quality of life and provide compassionate support for patients and families. Hospice care is focused on maintaining dignity and providing comfort, including pain and symptom management at the end of life when a cure is no longer possible. Services can meet the needs of patients with diagnoses such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and any late-stage, imminently terminal illness. Also called palliative care, hospice involves the aggressive treatment of physical and emotional pain and symptoms. Hospice affirms life, improves comfort, and does not hasten or postpone death.

Hospice FAQ

Hospice care benefits anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less based on a physician’s best judgment. This includes, but is not limited to, Alzheimer’s, heart and liver diseases, cancer, COPD, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions related to end-of-life.

Who decides if I go on hospice services?

You do. The decision is made together with you, your physician, and your loved ones. Once you begin hospice, you can make the decision to stop care at any time if you change your mind or decide to seek treatments to cure a life-limiting illness.

If I start hospice, will I still be able to make decisions about my care?

Yes, you and your family are in charge of your care.

What does the hospice 6-month requirement mean?

Some people misinterpret their doctors' suggestion to consider hospice thinking that it means death is very near. That's not always the case. At times, people don't begin hospice care soon enough to take full advantage of the benefit and support.

If you are a Medicare recipient, you can receive hospice care if your healthcare provider thinks you have less than 6 months to live should the disease progress as it typically does in others. Often, it is difficult for physicians to predict how long an older adult will live. In some cases, health can decline more slowly than anticipated.

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you think a hospice program might be helpful. If they agree but thinks it’s too soon for Medicare to cover the services, then you can investigate how to pay for the services that are needed.

What happens if someone under hospice care lives longer than 6 months?

Medicare can continue to pay for hospice services if your doctor continues to certify that that person is still close to dying. It’s also possible to leave hospice care and then return if a healthcare provider still believes that patient has less than 6 months to live.

How does hospice care improve quality of life for the patient and their family?

Choice Hospice providers come to you and provide patients what they need to be more comfortable. This allows you to focus on valuable time with your loved ones.

Hospice care may also improve quality of life by:

  • Reducing the time spent in the clinic and the emergency room
  • Eliminating the wait for a return call from your doctor’s office
  • Decreasing your out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Having a hospice nurse available any time day or night
Who provides hospice care?

Hospice care is provided by doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, bereavement counselors, and volunteers. This group is referred to as an interdisciplinary team headed by a medical director.

Who pays for hospice?

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies. Hospice is a financial relief to many because services related to the life-limiting illness, such as medication, equipment, and supplies, are covered by hospice benefits with few or no out-of-pocket expenses.

How can I go about starting hospice care?

You may ask your physician to submit a referral, or you may contact us. After your physician refers you to hospice care, you and your family will meet with an admissions nurse to determine your needs and arrange for an individualized care plan.

At Choice Hospice, we are your partners in providing comfort and dignity through compassionate end-of-life care. To contact us or discuss your hospice options, reach out to us online or call 855.485.8273. Our healthcare experts are looking forward to providing assistance.

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