What is Hospice?
Hospice provides comfort measures and pain management when the hope for cure is no longer possible. The hope for living each day to the fullest becomes the focus. Hospice is a philosophy of care providing medical, emotional, and spiritual support focusing on comfort and quality of life. Hospice eligibility requires a prognosis of less than six months, but patients who continue to beyond this timeframe can be re-certified for hospice care based on the Medicare requirement guideline, continuing to have the added support of hospice care
Watch this video about what hospice is here.
When should hospice be contacted?
Hospice can be called when a patients’ illness is discovered to be life-limiting; when the prognosis for life is determined by a doctor to be six months or less if the disease continues at its present course. However, patients often live longer than this time frame and continue to enjoy the wonderful benefits hospice care provides, should they continue to qualify under Medicare’s requirements and guidelines.
To learn more watch this video.
Upon request, we offer a no obligation hospice evaluation. Our staff is ready to assist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you have noticed a decline in your resident or loved one’s health, do not hesitate CLICK HERE to complete a secure form and contact us for a free, no obligation evaluation.
If you simply have additional questions, our would like to know more, please CLICK HERE. To complete a request for information, and we will contact you shortly.
We are always available by phone 24/7 @ 503.661.8990
What difference does early admission make?
Knowing what hospice can do for your resident or loved one will allow you to prepare and plan the steps necessary to take when hospice becomes the appropriate choice. Timely admission will also help prevent entering hospice during a crisis situation and will make the overall transition a smooth one. Timely admission to hospice allows for a better quality of life and dignity, where a patient can have the benefits of a variety of support systems, less stress, and in many cases, financial relief for the family.
Entering hospice in a timely matter allows our hospice professionals to create a plan of care for pain and symptom management for the patient, so they do not suffer unnecessarily or have to endure frequent – and often times, painful – trips to the ER. Hospice can be contacted 24/7 and offers additional support systems for the family, loved ones and caregivers. Hospice also helps ensure a financial freedom as it even covers medication, equipment and supplies associated with the patient’s terminal illness certification.
Who pays for hospice?
Comfort Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private health insurance.
To find out more watch this video.
Does Medicare have a hospice benefit?
Medicare provides hospice benefits in full for anyone with Medicare Part A, upon their election of hospice services.
What does Medicare cover?
The Medicare hospice benefit includes coverage for things such as:
- Hospice Doctor services
- Hospice Social worker services
- Hospice Nursing care
- Hospice Spiritual Support
- Bereavement Support: Grief and loss counseling for patient and family for up to 13 months after passing
- Hospice aide and homemaker services
- Volunteer Support
- Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
- Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
- Drugs for symptom control or pain relief (may need to pay a small copayment)
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Dietary counseling
- Short-term inpatient care (for pain and symptom management)
- Any other Medicare-covered services needed to manage pain and other symptoms related to the terminal illness, as recommended by the hospice teamHospice Social worker services
What does Medicare NOT cover for hospice?
- Treatment intended to cure the terminal illness. A hospice patient always has the right to stop hospice care at any time.
- Prescription drugs to cure an illness (rather than for symptom control or pain relief)
- Care from any hospice provider that wasn’t set up by the hospice medical team (A person must get hospice care from the hospice provider they chose. All care received for a terminal illness must be given by or arranged by the hospice team. A person cannot get the same type of hospice care from a different provider, unless the person changes the hospice provider.
- Room and board.
- Care in an emergency room, inpatient facility care, or ambulance transportation, unless it’s either arranged by the hospice team or is unrelated to the terminal illness. It’s important to contact the hospice team before receiving any of these services or as the patient/family might have to pay the entire cost.
Who makes the choice about entering hospice and selecting the particular hospice agency?
The law states that the patient or a designated third party is the final decision maker when it comes to choosing hospice and selecting the agency. While a doctor, discharge planner, social worker or other may make suggestions, the option is left to the patient.
How do I find out if I am eligible for hospice care?
Learning about the options for hospice care is simple. Give us a call at 503-661-8990, or fill out an online request by clicking HERE and one of our knowledgeable associates will be glad to help you.
What does the hospice admission process involve?
The process is not difficult and may take just a few hours. A member of the hospice team meets with the patient and family to discuss services and benefits. An RN from the hospice will conduct a full physical evaluation and review records to ensure the patient meets guidelines for the hospice. If the patient meets these guidelines, the physician will then write an order for hospice care to begin. Before care can begin, the patient or another authorized decision maker must sign a consent for treatment electing to begin care.
Can I leave hospice care?
The patient or his or her designated decision maker can choose to leave hospice. Additionally, patients may choose to return to hospice in the future as long as all admission eligibility criteria is still met per Medicare’s requirements.
Is there a time limit on receiving hospice care?
Absolutely not. It is impossible to predict how long a patient may live, and some patients may improve after entering hospice care. As such, there is no time limit on how long a patient may receive care as long as he or she meets Medicare’s eligibility guidelines.
Is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order or other advanced directive required to enter hospice?
Not at all. The hospice staff will work with patients and families to understand advance directives and the decision on what to do regarding end of life support.
Can I still use my own primary care physician?
Absolutely. A patient’s regular doctor is an important part of the hospice team. We will keep the doctor informed of what is happening on a regular basis.
How do I receive help at night or on weekends?
A nurse will respond to any call for help and can discuss the problem to determine the best course of action, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Does hospice care prevent me from driving or taking a few short trips?
Absolutely not. The goal of hospice is to support patients and allow them to live life to the fullest. We encourage our patients to do the things that bring them joy for as long as it is possible.