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Facts and Myths About Hospice

MYTH: Hospice is where you go when there is nothing left to be done.
FACT: Hospice is the “something more” that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured. It is a concept based on comfort-oriented care. A referral into hospice is a choice to receive comfort care, where hospice professionals are trained to assist patients in living their lives fully, completely, and without pain until the end of their lives.

MYTH: Families should be isolated from a dying patient.
FACT: Family members are encouraged, supported, and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Hospice staff are available to the patient and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.

MYTH: Hospice care is more expensive.
FACT: Studies have shown hospice care can be less expensive than conventional care during the last six months of life. Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice care. Most insurance plans, HMO’s, and managed care plans cover hospice care. Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls their home or a family member’s, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility. Hospice is also provided in inpatient units, VA hospitals, and some correctional facilities.

MYTH: You can't keep your own doctor if you enter hospice.
FACT: Hospice physicians work closely with your doctor of choice to develop a plan of care. If the patient does not have a primary care physician, hospice can provide medical services.

MYTH: A hospice patient can’t go to the hospital.
FACT: A patient receiving hospice services may go to the hospital. Although, the hospice should be notified prior to transport so that we can notify the hospital billing office of the correct way to submit the bill. This eliminates the possibility of losing the hospice benefit and allows the hospice to determine if hospitalization is related to the terminal illness. However, hospice care is directed toward maintaining the patient and keeping them comfortable in his or her usual living arrangement.

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