Quality care with pain symptom control, emotional and spiritual support
Hospice is individualized end-of-life care to enhance the quality of life. A team of specialized health professionals, skilled in pain and symptom management, provides comfort and care to patients, their families, and caregivers usually in the home but is also available in hospitals, nursing facilities, assisted living, etc. You can self refer to this program which is run locally by the home health team.
Hospice care is designed to support the patient and family with the end-of-life transition by providing an interdisciplinary team approach, through quality care with pain symptom control, and emotional and spiritual support. You can continue to use and talk to your primary care provider. The hospice team has a staff of certified providers who can help assist you or can become your PCP if you wish.
Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls home. Most insurances have a hospice benefit that covers hospice care at no cost to the patient, including medications, medical equipment, supplies, and regular visits from the hospice team. Under Medicare, hospice is normally provided after stopping active cancer treatments or aggressive treatments for other diseases; but under private insurance, hospice can often be delivered with aggressive therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or other aggressive life-sustaining treatments. To qualify for hospice, you need to be certified to have a prognosis that is limited to months, not years.