What Is Hospice?
Hospice is a philosophy of care that focuses on the
support and care of people in the latter stages of an incurable disease when a cure is no
longer a realistic goal. Hospice neither hastens nor
postpones death, but rather views death as a natural
and normal process. When medicine and traditional measures
cannot provide a cure, the goal of hospice is to provide
comfort and support, focusing on minimizing the patient’s
physical and emotional pain while promoting a quality
of life that preserves dignity, as well as providing
guidance and support for the caretakers.
Payment for hospice care is widely available. Coverage
is provided by Medicare, Medicaid and many private health
insurance policies. Coverage under Medicare and Medicaid
is 100%, meaning that the patient and family do not
have any cost assigned to them for services provided-
as long as their Medicare or Medicaid is active. Coverage
varies under private health insurance depending on individual
policies; however, we are pleased to have been chosen as an
in network, preferred provider for Cigna and Aetna Health Insurance plans.
We will provide you with more detailed information
regarding your coverage during the referral and admission
Generally, under the hospice benefit, all medications,
equipment and supplies related to the terminal diagnosis
are covered. Also included in the benefit are nursing
and certified nursing assistant services, medical director oversight,
social worker and spiritual support, volunteer visits
and bereavement follow-up. A nurse is available by phone
24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.
The nurse will review your individual plan of care and
provide you with details regarding your coverage.
To be admitted to the hospice program, the hospice
must have an order from your physician. He or she will
need to agree that hospice care is appropriate at this
time. The only requirements are for patients to have
a limited life expectancy (generally, six months or less) and that
curative treatment is no longer being pursued. A designated
caregiver is identified during the admission process,
at which time consents are reviewed and signed and patient
specific plans are made with the physician, patient