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 symptoms and pain for the entire length of their illness.
Who can receive hospice?
To receive hospice, physicians must be willing to state that death can be expected within 6 months if the disease follows its normal course. This does not mean that care will only be provided for 6 months; hospice can be provided as long as the person’s physician and hospice team certifies that their condition remains life limiting.
Who provides these services?
Hospice care is a family-centered team approach that includes, a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, chaplain, home health aide and trained volunteers. They work together focusing on the dying person’s needs—physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The goal is to help keep the person as pain and symptom-free as possible while offering spiritual and supportive counseling to the patient and family members.
The hospice team provides these 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
- Make short-term inpatient care available when pain or other symptoms become too difficult to manage at home
- Provide support and counseling to family members and loved ones
Does insurance cover these services?
Hospice is paid for by the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most private insurers. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, hospice will work with the person and their family to ensure services can be provided. Private insurance coverage varies and would need to be verified at time of referral. Contact your insurance provider to verify your level of coverage for these services.