Is it true that Medicare provides only six months of hospice care and that
I should delay enrollment as long as possible?
Medicare law does not time-limit the hospice benefit. Patients may enroll
when their physician and the hospice medical director judge that the illness
is terminal, with an estimated life expectancy of six months or less.
All patients with Hospice Services for more than six months must be recertified.
This means that the hospice registered nurse and medical director will
reassess the patient's status and current needs. The patient and family
always will be notified that the patient is being reassessed and the results
of the assessment.
Is all hospice care is the same?
Even in the same community, hospices may vary markedly, especially in the
kinds of treatment patients actually receive. Hospice Services of Southwest
General is your community hospice. Remember bigger is not always better.
Sometimes it is only bigger. Quality of care is the passion of Hospice
Services of Southwest General.
Is it true that patients can’t receive curative treatments while
Once a patient is in hospice, it is understood that the disease has progressed
beyond a cure, and curative treatments would not be sought. Hospice is
aimed at comfort care. Any treatment needed for comfort is possible.
Does hospice mean giving up hope and that Hospice workers help people die?
Hope is vital for every one of us. Hospice workers recognize that hope
is a powerful, ever-changing force that continues throughout the time
of living and the process of dying. Hospice offers hope for personal dignity,
freedom from invasive procedures and safety. Hospice offers hope for freedom
from isolation, abandonment, loneliness, loss of control, physical pain
and hope that the family will be nurtured and supported, even after the
death of a patient. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death.
Is it true that hospice is only useful for heavy-duty pain medications?
Hospice care utilizes pain medication only as necessary to alleviate physical
pain. The members of the hospice team also provide social, psychological
and spiritual support.
Is it true that you can’t keep your own doctor while in hospice?
You can keep your own doctor if you wish to do so. Most hospices establish
working relationships with a wide base of referring physicians so that
patients can keep their own doctors after admission to hospice care.
Is hospice only for cancer patients?
Hospice care is available to any person with an advanced illness, including
non-cancer diagnoses such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic
Is hospice only for the sick family member?
Hospice Services is designed to support all family members during the illness.
Bereavement support services [link to: Hospice > Bereavement Services]
are available to the whole family for up to two years after the death.
Is it true that hospice is a place and you must leave home to receive hospice care?
Most hospice care is provided in the home, though inpatient care is available
at The Thomas P. Perciak Family Residential Hospice for those who need
Is hospice expensive?
Generally, hospice care costs less than hospital or nursing home care and
saves significant money for Medicare. (With hospice, Medicare saves 62
cents for every dollar spent on medical care in the last six months of life.)