Q: Who qualifies for hospice care?
A: Anyone who has been diagnosed with any illness which the physicians feel has a life expectancy of six months or less. Whether the diagnonsis is a cancer, or just “old age” the patient may obtain hospice care if the expectation is the patient will likely not live more than six months, and the patient and family wish for contol of symptoms, comfort, and palliative-oriented care.
Sometimes the patient or family are worried that it will be “too soon” because they don’t want to lose hope. A hospice agency will come and talk to you and your loved ones at home, free of charge, to help you gather information to make a decision you feel good about. Due to the uniqueness of every patient– at such a difficult time of change–it often helps to seek further advice from the people who really know about end of life care: a hospice team. If the patient is in the hospital already a request for a palliative consultation can be made.
In summary: a physician must “order” hospice but anyone can request a hospice to come out to do an initial, informal visit for information and informal evaluation
Q: If I have hospice, can I keep my own doctor?
A: Yes, absolutely. But there will be a hospice team physician, typically an expert in end of life care, who will act as a resource for the patient and the hospice team looking after the patient.
Q: Who pays for hospice?
A: Medicare pays a certified hospice agency 100 percent. Most insurance companys are generous in their hospice benefits. The Sojourn Center will not be paid for by insurance or medicare.