Hospice care is a form of palliative care, specifically for individuals with a life-expectancy of six months or less (as determined by their physician), whose goals for care focus on palliation (comfort measures) rather than cure of the underlying disease.
The hospice benefit is intended primarily for any individual with a terminal illness whose life expectancy is six months or less should the illness run its usual course. However, the Medicare program recognizes that not all terminal illnesses have a predictable course; therefore, the benefit is available for extended periods of time beyond 6 months.
Palliative care is medical care focused on relieving suffering and improving quality of life for anyone dealing with a serious illness, at any time, regardless of diagnosis, prognosis or treatment.
Hospice at Home
Hospice services may be provided in your home. Our professional staff make their home visits to bring compassion and comfort to the patient and family in their time of need. We utilize the best management of symptom control to enable the patient to be as comfortable as possible. Our goal is to develop a trusting relationship with the patient and family, to honor the patient’s right to make decisions about their medical care, and to assist with the physical, emotional and spiritual process for end of life care.
Hospice at a Facilitiy
Hospice services may be provided in a Skilled Nursing Facility, Board & Care Facility, or an Assisted Living Facility.
- Hospice Provides supplemental care to the patient who is already receiving care from the facility staff.
- Hospice works with the facility staff to bring additional clinical expertise in the areas of pain control and symptom management.
Hospice care focuses on enhancing the quality of life in its final stages. It seeks neither to shorten nor prolong life. A patient can choose to leave hospice care at any time and return to aggressive curative treatment for the disease.
All health insurance programs in California, including Medicare Part A, Medicare HMO, Medi-Cal, senior health plans and private insurances, cover the cost of hospice care at some level. Services covered can include:
- Hospice physician services
- Home visits by the hospice team
- Medications related to the hospice diagnosis
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Renal failure
- Respite, inpatient or crisis Care
- Bereavement services
- Physical, speech, and occupational therapy
- Dietary counseling