Hospice Facts

Learn more about Hospice Facts

Navigating the healthcare world can be a difficult task full of unanswered questions. Hospice can be even more difficult because it deals with a topic that most of us would like to avoid. But the facts are important.

Know the facts below!

  • Hospice is for people with advanced illnesses who have been deemed incurable by a physician and determined to have 6 months or less life expectancy.
  • Hospice can happen anywhere, not only at a facility. A hospice care team will come to the patient in the place where the patient feels most comfortable for end-of-life.
  • Hospice is a choice. Patients can leave, or “revoke their hospice status,” at any time for any reason. Patients can also come back to hospice at any time if they meet hospice eligibility guidelines.
  • Patients can keep taking medications while on hospice, as long as the medication is prescribed for the management of symptoms and not as an attempt to cure illness.
  • Hospice provides education and training for family and friends who are caregivers for the patient. For patients who live in assisted living communities and nursing homes, the hospice team works together with the facility staff.
  • There is no limit to the time a patient can be on hospice. The initial hospice certification period is for 90 days. If patient’s life extends beyond that, a physician can re-certify continuously for additional 60-day periods.
  • Hospice provides home medical equipment and supplies related to the cause of the illness. This includes shower chairs, oxygen tanks, hospital beds, toileting supplies, and more.
  • Hospice support doesn’t end with the passing of a patient. Hospice can and should assist families and loved ones with continuous emotional and spiritual support.
  • Most hospice patients do not have any out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Part A covers up to 100% of the cost of hospice care related to a hospice-eligible patient’s illness, with no deductible or copayment. Private or employer-provided health coverage can vary. Check with your insurance provider for details about hospice eligibility, coverage, and out-of-pocket expenses. Medicaid provides hospice coverage, but it varies by state.

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