Understanding Hospice Care

Hospice is a program of health care and services designated to focus on the quality and comfort of life. Hospice is “comfort care,” meaning it treats pain and other symptoms without trying to cure the illness. Care is delivered by a team of professionals who address the patient’s needs on medical, physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The team consists of the patient’s attending physician, hospice medical director, registered nurse, home health aides, social worker, chaplain and trained volunteers.

• Physicians • Hospital Personnel • Families and Friends • Individuals

Hospice care can dramatically and positively impact the quality of life. The goal is to empower the individual, by providing knowledge and information to facilitate decision-making. Our clinical staff are experts on pain control and symptom management. They are committed to education of patients and caregivers. Help is only one phone call away. The attending physician, patient, family member friends, clergy, social workers, hospital discharge planner or any person concerned with a patient’s well-being, can make a referral. If you call us, we will contact the patient’s physician for approval, services will be started immediately.

Where Does Hospice Care Happen?

Most often Hospice Care happens in your home. The nurses, doctors, home health aids, a social worker, chaplain and volunteers are all working together to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. You can also receive hospice care in an inpatient facility, such as a nursing facility or assisted living facility.

Who Pays For Hospice Care?

Hospice is often available at little to no cost to the patient. Hospice is a covered benefit by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies.

How To Qualify

In order to qualify for hospice care, your primary care physician must write a referral for you to enter hospice care. You will have to accept a shift in health care from curative care to comfort care, which focuses on aggressive pain and symptom control.