Hospice - Frequently Asked Questions
I thought hospice was for people who were "near death"?
My doctor said, "You should look into hospice." What does that mean?
How do I get in contact with a hospice professional?
Where can I get hospice services?
Is it true that I can receive hospice care while I am in a nursing home?
What would be the reasons for using both hospice care and nursing home care?
Who pays for hospice care?
Q: I thought hospice was for people who were "near death"?
A: No. The earlier hospice gets involved with your care, the sooner your quality of life will improve. In addition, your family will get the support they need. In fact, the two comments hospice hears most are, "I wish we would have called you sooner," and "I wish we would have been referred sooner."
Q: My doctor said, "You should look into hospice." What does that mean?
A: It means that hospice care is right for you and your physician is encouraging you to meet with a hospice professional.
Q: How do I get in contact with a hospice professional?
A: There are several ways:
- If you already know about a hospice program in your community, you may contact them directly.
- You can ask your physician if he or she can recommend a hospice program.
- If you are in a hospital, you may ask your discharge planner for a list of hospices in your area.
- If you are at home, you can ask your friends if they can recommend a hospice program, look in the telephone book, or go online to www.hospicenet.org. Click on the "National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization" link, which maintains a database of hospices for each state in the United States. Then select your city and state.
The hospice staff will meet with you to discuss the services provided by hospice and answer any questions you may have. Remember, healthcare professionals may recommend a hospice, but you have the right to choose.
Q: Where can I get hospice services?
A: Basically, anywhere. You may receive hospice care at home, in an assisted living facility, in a nursing home, or in the hospital.
Q: Is it true that I can receive hospice care while I am in a nursing home?
Q: What would be the reasons for using both hospice care and nursing home care?
A: Whether you live in a nursing home, assisted living facility, are in your own home, or are currently in the hospital, the reasons to use hospice are primarily the same:
- Hospice care is specialized care. This means hospice works with other healthcare providers that specialize in hospice care, like pharmacies and medical equipment companies. For instance, MedCentral Hospice has partnered with Hospice Pharmacia, a pharmacy that specializes in hospice care. Whenever you're dealing with a specialist, you're getting the best quality care.
- People in hospice experience a greater satisfaction with having their healthcare needs met.
- People in hospice have fewer hospital admissions.
- People in hospice receive better pain management.
- People in hospice have pain assessed more often.
- People in hospice have lower rates of inappropriate medication and physical restraint use.
In fact, studies have shown that people who receive hospice care have a better
quality of life.
Q: Who pays for hospice care?
A: In short, the hospice is responsible for providing any hospice care that you need. For Medicare beneficiaries, there is no out-of-pocket, deductible or co-pays. For other insurances, you would need to refer to your explanation of benefits to determine your financial responsibility. If you need help understanding your hospice benefits, the hospice staff can help.
MedCentral Hospice is a Medicare certified, JCAHO accredited hospice program and is a United Way affiliated agency. Call us at (419) 526-8442 and see how we can help you improve your life, and make living better. MedCentral Hospice is part of MedCentral Health System and is the hospice for Mansfield Hospital and Shelby Hospital.
Last updated October 29, 2007