WHAT IS HOSPICE CARE?
WHO PAYS FOR HOSPICE CARE?
Hospice is a philosophy of care. The hospice philosophy
or viewpoint accepts death as the final state of life. The
goal of hospice is to enable patients to continue an alert,
pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their
last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded
by their love ones. Hospice affirms life and does not hasten
or postpone death. Hospice care treats the person rather
than the disease; it focuses on quality rather than length
of life. Hospice care is family-centered care -- it involves
the patient and the family in making decisions. Care is
provided for the patient and family 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week. Hospice care can be given in the patientís home,
a hospital, nursing home, or private hospice facility.
Hospice care is meant for the time when cancer treatment
can no longer help you, and you are expected to live 6 months
or less. Hospice gives you palliative care, which is treatment
to help relieve disease-related symptoms, nut not cure the
disease; its main purpose is to improve your quality of
life. You, your family, and your doctors decide together
when hospice care should begin.
One of the problems with hospice is that it is often not
started soon enough. Sometimes the doctor, patient, or family
member will resist hospice because he or she thinks it means
youíre giving up, or that thereís no hope. This is not true.
If you get better or the cancer goes into remission, you
can be taken out of the hospice program and go into active
cancer treatment. You can go back to hospice care at a later
time, it needed. The hope that hospice brings is the hope
of a quality life, making the best of each day during the
last stages of advanced illness.
Hospice coverage is widely available. It is provided by
Medicare nationwide, by Medicaid in 47 states, and by most
private insurance providers. To be sure of coverage, families
should, of course, check with their employer or health insurance
The Medicare Hospice Benefit covers the full scope of medical
and support services for a life-limiting illness. Hospice
care also supports the family and loved lone of the person
through a variety of services. This benefit covers almost
all aspect of hospice care with little expense to the patient
If insurance coverage is not available or is not enough
to cover all costs, the patient and the family can hire
hospice providers and pay for services out of pocket. Some
hospices are able to provide services without charge if
a patient has limited or no financial resources.
If you want to leave footprints in the sand, donít drag
Celebrate what youíve accomplished, but raise the bar a
little higher each time you succeed.
Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.
Be sure you put your feet in the right place and stand