When should a decision about hospice care be made?
It is appropriate to discuss all of a patient's options for care, including hospice, when faced with a terminal illness. The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care with their physician, the hospice referral liaison, other healthcare providers or clergy. Patients have the right to chose hospice care. Hospice continues to treat you, but our treatment plan is based on symptom control, not curing the disease.
Are patients ever discharged from hospice?
Yes. If the patient's condition improves and they no longer meet hospice criteria, the patient will be discharged from hospice. The discharged patient can re-enter the program at a later time if needed. Patients may also stop hospice services if they wish to seek aggressive treatment.
How is hospice paid for?
Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care, and most private insurance companies cover hospice care.
Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
No. Hospice does nothing to hasten the end of life. Our goal is comfort and support. Hospice allows death to occur naturally while being there to provide support and knowledge during the dying process.
Does someone need to be with the patient all the time?
If the patient is able to get up and care for their activities of daily living, it will not be necessary to have someone with them all the time. However, if the patient is bedridden, hospice recommends someone staying with the patient all the time.
What if I can no longer manage my loved one at home?
Your hospice team is there to support you. You must let us know your concerns and if you feel you are unable to manage at home, your hospice team will work with you on a long term placement.
Can the patient return to the hospital?
Most symptoms and many procedures that are done in the hospital can be managed at home. However, a hospice nurse is available to assess your situation, discuss it with you and your physician and make arrangements for hospitalization. Patients may be hospitalized for symptom control, caregiver crisis, or impending death.
Can I still go see my doctor?
Yes. Please let your hospice nurse know if you have any doctor's appointments.
Do I have to have a "Do Not Resuscitate" (DNR) order to be on hospice?
No, you do not have to have a DNR order. You have the right to choose the type of care you wish to receive. You should discuss DNR status with your physician.