FAQs About Hospice
Who is Eligible?
Hospice care is not only for those afflicted with cancer. Many people qualify for the program with other life-limiting conditions such as:
- Heart Disease
- Lung/Pulmonary Disease
- Kidney/Renal Disease
- Liver Disease
- Alzheimers and other dementia related diseases
- Decline in Health Status
Who pays for hospice care?
Hospice care is fully covered by Medicare and Medicaid and many other types of health plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMO's), preferred provider organizations (PPO's), and other private insurance. In most cases 100% of our services are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Private insurance and HMO policies may vary in coverage. If you have questions regarding coverage our billing staff can help you determine what coverage is available to you.
What hospice services are covered?
- Physician, registered nurses, social worker, certified home health aides, spiritual counselor, volunteers and bereavement support.
- Home medical equipment such as a hospital bed, oxygen, bedside commode, or wheelchairs if needed. Medical equipment is arranged and delivered right to your home.
- Medications for pain and symptom control. Medications related to your terminal diagnosis may be covered and delivered right to your home.
Does hospice mean giving up hope?
Hospice offers hope in managing end of life symptoms related to an incurable disease. Hospice is an individualized plan of care which allows patients to maintain a high quality of life through pain and symptom management. Our goal is to provide high quality supportive care that allows the patient to live life to the fullest.
When is it appropriate to seek help?
When the person is no longer seeking aggressive and/or curative treatments and comfort is the primary goal. People often say "I thought hospice was for people who are dying in a few days." Hospice is a program designed to offer comfort as the patient lives with a terminal illness.
Who is appropriate for hospice?
Hospice care is appropriate for those patients with a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease process runs its normal course. The earlier care begins, the greater the benefits to patient and the entire family. When there is a desire for comfort care at home hospice is appropriate. When aggressive or curative treatments may have been stopped, been refused, or has been deemed inappropriate for the current stage of the patient's illness hospice is appropriate.
Who can refer someone to hospice?
Referrals are accepted from the primary physician, hospital, a long-term care or assisted- living facility, the patient, family member, clergy, friend or other referring sources. See our Hospice Care referral page underneath Make a Referral, or Click here...
When can hospice care start?
An informational visit by a hospice staff member can be made within 24 hours of a referral. Admission is coordinated with the patient, primary physician, family and hospice team.
Where is care provided?
Hospice care may be provided in the patient's home, long-term care facility or in an assisted living facility.
Do I give up my rights to see a doctor while on the hospice program?
When you become a patient with Noble Visiting Nurse and Hospice Services it will not prevent you from seeing your doctor regardless of what type of coverage you have. Your doctor visit will be billed separately from the hospice services. If you wish and are able to visit your doctor, Noble Visiting Nurse and Hospice Services will work with your doctor to provide you with optimum care.
Can I still go to the hospital?
Yes, you maintain the right to go to the hospital. In most cases it is not necessary. However, if it is required we ask the caregiver to call hospice immediately. There is the possibility that your status in the hospice program will change as some treatments or procedures may not be covered under the hospice program. The hospice team will work with the patient and caregiver to determine the appropriate steps regarding the plan of care.
Can I return to the hospice program if I have been discharged?
Yes, if you meet the criteria for the hospice program. The procedure for readmission to the hospice program is very simple.