Hospice Care

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Hospice care provides palliative care to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for people who are expected to live for about six months or less. Like palliative care, hospice care can be provided whether you are at home or in an assisted living facility, nursing facility or hospital.

Choosing a hospice care provider

Finding the right provider does not have to be difficult. Ask your medical team for specific recommendations or use the directories in the resources section below to find providers in your area. The local hospice workers will meet with the patient's doctor, patient and family to discuss available services and expectations and to develop a plan of care designed specifically for your loved one and tailored to the family needs.

You may want to ask questions about insurance plans and payment requirements.

  • Ask what expectations the hospice will have from the patient and the patient's support system.
  • Ask what kind of support and training program the hospice has for caregivers.
  • Ask about bereavement support programs.

Hospice care is a covered benefit under Medicare for patients with a prognosis of six months or less. Medicaid covers hospice services in most states. Many private health insurance policies and HMOs offer hospice coverage and benefits. Hospice services are also covered under TRICARE, the Department of Defense's health care program for members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors. Frequently, hospice expenses are less than conventional care expenses during the last six months of life.

Hospice care resources

March 18, 2014