Q. Who determines when hospice care begins?
A. By law, patients must choose hospice care. If patients are no longer able to choose, the closest relative or designated responsible party may make the decision. Hospice is an option that should be considered whenever patients have life-threatening illnesses with a diagnosis of six months or less to live. Our staff is available to discuss any concerns with patients, family members, and physicians.
Q. Will our doctor tell us when hospice care is appropriate?
A. Choosing hospice care is a very personal decision. Patients and family members should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy, or friends. It is important to let your physician know that you are interested in hospice care and you should not wait for him or her to initiate the topic.
Q. What is a referral?
A. A referral is a request to meet with Community Hospices' staff to learn more about our guidelines and services. It is the opportunity to find out if hospice care is right for the patient.
Q. Who can make a referral?
A. Anyone can make a referral, including people diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, families, friends, or physicians.
Q. Will my insurance cover hospice care?
A. Most major insurance companies offer a hospice benefit. Families should check with their employers or health insurance providers to be sure of coverage. Medicare and Medicaid also provide hospice coverage on an individual basis.
Q. How much will I have to pay for hospice care?
A. Forms of payment include Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, private payments, and grants. Patients with limited resources are billed according to their ability to pay. Generous donations from grateful community members make this possible. Community Hospices accepts all patients who meet the admission criteria regardless of their ability to pay for our services.
Q. Is a home the only place patients can receive hospice care?
A. No. Hospice care is given in homes, apartments, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospitals, or wherever patients reside.
Q. What happens at admission?
A. During the admissions process, hospice contacts the patients' physicians to make sure they agree that hospice care is appropriate. Patients are then asked to sign consent forms stating that they understand that hospice care is palliative and focuses on pain relief and symptom control rather than on curing the illnesses. They are also be asked to fill out insurance forms.
Our Admission nurse reviews patients' medications with the families and the doctors and also performs the initial physical assessments which are crucial to setting up care plans.