Hospice care is palliative care that focuses on serving and comforting patients and their families at the end of their lives or as the illness becomes terminal. Most hospice programs concentrate on comfort rather than cure. A medical specialty that provides for the whole individual through an interdisciplinary approach to the plan of care. It involves the person and their family at the center with the physician, nurse, social worker, pastoral care, home health aids and volunteers to create a team to meet the needs of the individual and the family. Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies might also be part of a hospice plan of care if the individual would benefit from these services. Most hospice patients can achieve a level of comfort that allows them and their families to concentrate on the emotional and practical issues of dying. Franciscan hospice care provides this type of care.
- Hospice care is covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit available for patients whose life expectancy is six months or less, as determined by their physician
- Medicaid hospice coverage is the same as the Medicare benefit
- Some commercial insurance companies also offer hospice coverage. If you are unsure of coverage, contact your insurance company
- In most cases, hospice is provided in the patient’s home
- Hospice care is also provided in freestanding hospice facilities, hospitals, or nursing homes
- Now is the best time to learn more about hospice and ask questions about what to expect from hospice services