The decision to choose hospice is deeply personal. When a patient and family decide it is appropriate to shift the approach from care that is curative in nature to care that focuses on pain and/or symptom management, it is appropriate to consider hospice. Hospice is provided to patients living with a diagnosis that is not expected to improve and could potentially limit the patient’s lifespan to six months if it were to continue its natural course as determined by their own personal physician and the hospice medical director.
Where Can Hospice Care be Provided?
Hospice is not a place, but rather a special and specific way of caring for people who are seeking symptom management in the last chapters of their lives. Therefore, hospice is provided wherever the patient is, whether in a private home or more formal care setting.
When Hospice is provided in a skilled nursing facility, Hospice works collaboratively with the caring professionals at the skilled nursing facility and does not replace the services already provided but adds an additional layer of care aimed at providing the best quality of life possible through holistic care specializing in comfort and symptom management.
How is Hospice Paid for?
Most Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, HMO’s or private insurance agencies. These services include visits from hospice team members, medications related to the care and comfort of the patient, and medical equipment.