Frequently Asked Questions By Patients and Families

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Introduction

What questions do you have about receiving hospice services? Your care is specific to your choices and needs. Your care team is happy to answer any questions you have. Please do not hesitate to ask.

 

Whether you are experiencing a serious illness or care about someone who is, you can expect to be treated with dignity and respect. Every effort will be made to:

  • Respect you as a whole person
  • Ease your pain and discomfort
  • Provide emotional and spiritual support
  • Partner with your doctors to provide care planned specifically for you
  • Assist you in achieving your personal goals
  • Honor your choices

Can I Keep My Own Physician?

Yes. You do not need to leave the care of your own physician to receive care from the hospice. Your hospice care team works in partnership with your physicians and other health care providers.

 

If for some reason your physician is unable to continue providing your care, a hospice physician who specializes in palliative care is available to visit you and consult with your hospice care team if you so choose.

I Keep Hearing About “Palliative Care.” What is it?

Palliative care focuses on preventing and relieving suffering and supporting the best possible quality of life for patients and those closest to them. Palliative care focuses on:

  • Enhancing quality of life through effective symptom management and care for emotional and spiritual needs
  • Maximizing ability to function in everyday activities
  • Helping with decision making
  • Promoting personal growth and dignity

How is Hospice Care Paid For?

There are many ways. Medicare and Medicaid along with most major insurance companies and managed care providers provide coverage for hospice services. People may also pay out of pocket for services to the extent that they are able. If at any time you have questions about billing, payments, or reimbursement, please ask your care team.

What If I Need Special Equipment, Such as a Wheelchair or Electric Bed?

Medical equipment and disposable medical supplies are available to you through your care team and can be delivered directly to your home. Talk with your care team about what would be helpful. They will be able to explain what is available and how any costs will be handled.

Can I Choose What Kinds of Care I Receive?

From the time of your first visit with your hospice team, your choices will guide the care you receive. Hospice care is meant to support your well-being as a whole person – not just your physical and medical needs. You can choose when to accept or decline services by any member of your hospice care team. As your needs or priorities change, you may find that your choices about your care change as well. We respect your choices and will do our best to provide personalized care that works for you.

Does Hospice Provide 24-hour Care?

You have access to skilled and knowledgeable hospice staff 24 hours a day. Anytime you call, there are nurses, counselors or social workers, chaplains, and volunteers available to respond to your need.

 

Regular visits by your care team are meant to assist you in caring for yourself and your loved one. Under certain circumstances, such as symptoms that are uncontrolled or a sudden change in condition, hospice may be able to provide longer visits from additional team members. Talk with your care team about how we can best serve you.

Does Hospice Make Funeral Arrangements?

While hospice does not make such arrangements, your care team can assist you in locating the information you need to make such decisions and will support you in the choices that feel right to you. A chaplain, social worker or counselor with your care team is available to help as you sort through options and make decisions.

What Kind of Care Does Hospice Offer to Help Me While I am Grieving?

Hospice care continues for surviving family members, friends, and caregivers as they adjust to life after the death of a loved one. The kinds of grief support The Hospice provides and how long The Hospice remains involved will depend on what feels most comfortable to you. Team members and volunteers will check in with you periodically to offer information and support.

What Do I Do if I Have a Concern or am Unsatisfied with
My Care?

Please tell us immediately. Begin by talking directly with any member of your care team. A member of your hospice’s leadership team is available to hear your concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

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