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Definition Of Hospice

Hospice is a comprehensive, holistic program of care and support for terminally ill patients and their families. Hospice care changes the focus to comfort care (palliative care) for pain relief and symptom management instead of care to cure the patient's illness.

What Is Hospice?

Hospice provides expert care and support to patients and families facing severe advanced illnesses.  Hospice centers on the patient's goals and personal choices. Family and or patient's tell the hospice agency what’s important to them and they in turn provide care tailored to those wishes. Hospice care focuses on pain relief and symptom control so people can live more comfortably and enjoy an enhanced quality of life.

With hospice care, you will focus less on the illness and more embracing opportunities that are meaningful. The hospice philosophy is that time spent at home with family is far better than frequent hospitalizations in the care of an ever-rotating staff.

What Comprises Hospice Teams?

Interdisciplinary teams deliver hospice care. They address physical, emotional and spiritual pain, including such common worries as loss of independence, the well-being of the family and feeling like a burden.

Paying For Hospice

Hospice care costs are paid 100 percent by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance; hospice is the only Medicare benefit that includes pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, 24/7 access to care, nursing, social services, chaplain visits, grief support following a death and other services deemed appropriate by the hospice agency. By comparison, palliative care costs—from office visits to prescription charges—can vary.

Hospice Is Covered In California. Hospice is a covered benefit. In most cases, there is no cost to you. 

Where Do I Receive Hospice?

Hospice care is delivered at home or in home-like hospice residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, veterans' facilities, hospitals and other facilities.

Items & Services included in the Hospice Benefit?

  • Services from a hospice-employed physician, nurse practitioner, or other physicians chosen by the patient

  • Nursing care

  • Medical equipment

  • Medical supplies

  • Drugs to manage pain and symptoms

  • Hospice aide and homemaker services

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Speech-language pathology services

  • Medical social services

  • Dietary counseling

  • Spiritual counseling

  • individual and family or just family grief and loss counseling before and after the patient's death

  • Short-term inpatient pain control and symptom management and respite care

Hospice: List
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