What is Hospice?
Hospice Care is a health care service of high quality, compassionate care that helps terminally ill loved ones and their families live as fully as possible.
SOME FACTS ON HOSPICE IN THE UNITED STATES:
- Hospice cares for more than 1.65 million Americans and their families, every year—a number that continues to grow.
- The focus is on caring, not curing. Hospice utilizes an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and trained volunteers who address symptom control, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the individual’s needs and wishes.
- Hospice is not “giving up,” nor is it a form of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide.
HOSPICE PROVIDES THE CARE AMERICANS HAVE SAID THEY WANT
- A Gallup Poll reveals that close to nine in 10 adults (88 percent) would prefer to die in their homes, free of pain, surrounded by family and loved ones. Hospice works to make this happen.
- Research by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization states 94 percent of families who had a loved one cared for by hospice rated the care as “very good” to “excellent.”
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has indicated that expanding the reach of hospice care holds enormous potential benefits for those nearing the end of life, whether they are in nursing homes, their own homes, or in hospitals.
HOSPICE CARE IS NOT LIMITED TO SIX MONTHS OF SERVICE
- The Medicare Hospice Benefit requires that a terminally ill patient have a prognosis of six months or less. However, there is no six-month limit for payment of hospice care services.
- Hospice eligibility requirements should not be confused with length of service.
- A person in the final phase of life may receive hospice care for as long as necessary when a physician certifies he or she continues to meet eligibility requirements.
- Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, two 90-day periods of care (a total of six months) can be followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods