Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
AVIANT Hospice understands that patients and their families often have many questions when considering hospice care. Below, you will find answers to the type of questions we frequently hear from our patients:
-Who is eligible for hospice care?
To be eligible for hospice care, the patient’s physician and the hospice medical director must certify that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less, if the disease progression were to run its normal course.
In addition, when a patient elects the hospice benefit, they have accepted a treatment goal that focuses on palliative care, comfort, and relief from symptoms and pain.
-Does that mean I can only receive hospice for six months?
Hospice eligibility should not be confused with length of service. Frequently patient’s quality and potential quantity improves due to the high level of care they are receiving thru hospice.
A patient in the final phase of life may receive hospice care for as long as necessary when a physician certifies that he or she continues to meet eligibility requirements.
-Who can refer to hospice?
Anyone can refer to hospice. We are happy to come out and discuss hospice and/or do an evaluation anytime.
We have staff available 24 hours a day to discuss your needs, your options, and be of service to you or your loved one wherever you might be.
-Do I need to check-in to a hospice facility to receive care?
Hospice is a philosophy of care and not a location of care
Hospice services can be provided to a patient facing a life-limiting illness, wherever they live.
A Gallup poll reveals that close to nine in ten adults (88%) would prefer to die in their homes, free of pain, surrounded by family and loved ones: Hospice works to make this happen.
If the level of care provided cannot be given where you live, the hospice team can help you to make alternative arrangements to suite your needs.
If you live in a long term care facility, the hospice team can initiate a special contract to come in and provide additional services alongside your care team.
-How are hospice costs covered?
Medicare, private insurers, and most state funded plans pay for Hospice care. Hospice will work with you to connect you with the services you need regardless of an ability to pay. Call us for an evaluation of your coverage.
-What does hospice care include?
Hospice care includes a full scope of medical and support services including symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, personal care needs, medical equipment, medications related to the life limiting illness, and some supplies, all expressly tailored to meet the patient’s needs and wishes.
Hospice care also supports the family and loved ones of the patient through emotional and spiritual support throughout the patient’s illness. Bereavement services will continue for the family/loved ones as well.
• Individual care plans designed for the unique needs of the patients and their loved ones
• Physician visits for symptom management
• Registered nursing visits to monitor and evaluate patient changing needs
• Certified nursing assistants to help with personal care needs
• Social workers to provide assistance and resources for legal, financial, and emotional needs
• Chaplain for spiritual support, regardless of religious beliefs or affiliations
• Volunteers for companionship and respite needs
• Bereavement counseling and support after the loss of a loved one
-Isn’t hospice “giving up”?
Hospice is not “giving up,” nor is it a form of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide. Hospice is about the quality of life a person has left and the goals of that person and their loved one. Hospice designs the treatment/interventions one receives while on service to the needs of that patient with a comfort and palliation approach instead of an aggressive treatment approach. The focus is on caring and comfort, not curing.
• It is about the patient having more control in their own journey.
-Who visits the patient and at what frequency?
Patient visits are tailored to the needs of each individual patient and may include, nursing visits, certified nurse’s aides, social workers, chaplains, physicians and/or nurse practitioners, and volunteers. These frequencies can change as the needs change and as often as necessary.
-Will I no longer be under the care of my physician?
You are encouraged to continue under the care of your physician for all of your non-hospice needs. AVIANT Hospice personnel will provide additional care and work with your physician to coordinate your care and ensure all your needs are being met.
-Can I call the hospice when I need help?
AVIANT Hospice services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we encourage you to call us first. We are here to meet your needs and answer your questions and concerns.
-What can I do to help my family?
One of the greatest benefits of hospice care is the inclusion of the family and what we can do to benefit them. Unfortunately, when we have a loved one approaching the end of their life, we often take on the role of caregiver and lose some of benefits of just being a family member. Hospice is here to ensure your family has the care they need as well to let them just be a husband or wife, son or daughter and enjoy the moments that they can never get back.
-What can I do to help my loved one who is the patient?
The needs of each patient are very individualized. The care they receive will be too. Hospice is here to teach you how to assist your loved one and how to take care of yourself at the same time.
-Is there any grief support groups?
At any given time, there may be support groups available through the hospice bereavement program. Ask any team member or contact the office to speak with the bereavement coordinator and see what is available today. Bereavement services are available to any individual who needs them regardless of relationship to a patient.
-What other support elements are offered for me and my family?
Hospice levels of care include short term symptom management which may be provided in the home or at a contracted facility depending on the individual patient needs.
Additionally, many alternative therapies are offered thru volunteers or contracted services and may include aromatherapy, music therapy, pet therapy, and/or gentle massage.
Local caregiver support groups are often also available. Contact your team or the AVIANT Hospice office to find out how we can best accommodate your specific needs.