Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice Care
What is Hospice?
Hospice provides expert care and support to patients and families facing severe advanced illnesses. Our attention centers on the patient’s goals and personal choices. They tell us what’s important to them and we provide care tailored to their wishes. Hospice care focuses on pain relief and symptom control so people can live more comfortably and enjoy an enhanced quality of life.
Hospice offers a unique approach to care at the end-of-life guided by an interdisciplinary team. Services provided by a physician, registered nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers all work together to provide support, education and excellent care. Also, our hospice physicians specialize in hospice and palliative care medicine and understand the treatment options for advanced diseases to achieve comfort and symptom control.
Who Qualifies for Hospice Care?
Hospice is for anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and a life expectancy of 6 months or less. Hospice cares for people of all ages with a variety of diseases. We will provide a free evaluation to determine if hospice care is appropriate.
Who Pays For Hospice?
Hospice is a medical benefit covered by most insurance plans including Medicare, Medi-Cal, and private insurance companies. If you do not have insurance, VNASC will work with you and your family to find funding options to meet your needs. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality medical care at the end-of-life.
What if I Get Better?
Fortunately, there are times when patients improve and no longer require hospice care. We simply discharge the patient from hospice, and they resume their standard medical care.
What if I Change My Mind?
When someone elects hospice care, they choose comfort care rather than curative treatments. At any time during hospice care, you may decide to change your mind and pursue curative treatment, and you can choose to discontinue hospice care.
What if My Loved One Lives Longer Than 6 Months?
Patients can be on hospice for more than six months as long as they continue to qualify for coverage. Patients receive a reevaluation every 2-3 months, to determine if they are still eligible for local hospice care. Hospice care will continue to be available as long as a patient qualifies.
However, if the patient’s condition or prognosis improves they will be discharged from hospice. Patients may always come back on hospice if their condition worsens at a later time.