Is Hospice Expensive?
No one is ever turned away from our services due to lack of financial resources. Patients over the age of 65 are entitled to full hospice benefits under Medicare and services are covered 100%. Many other health plans, Medicaid, HMO’s and most other managed care groups have some form of hospice care plan. We handle all insurance and billing concerns so you can focus on what’s important.
When Is Hospice Appropriate?
Generally speaking, hospice care should be provided for the final six months of one's life. We step in when curative measures are no longer effective or appropriate, and the patient and family desire additional care in a home or home-like setting.
How Do You Enroll In Hospice?
Although any individual can refer a patient for hospice care, admission must be consented to by a patient and/or their family. All admissions must have the approval of thed patient’s attending physician and/or the High Desert Hospice Medical Director. Once the physician approves the referral, we will come meet with you to guide you through the simple process.
What Kind Of Medical Care Will I Receive?
Hospice care is "palliative," meaning "comfort care." We are not there to heal you, but to relieve your pain and ease symptoms of your illness so that you can live life to the fullest extent possible.
Does Hospice Hasten Death?
No. Some of our patients even live longer than expected because of the personal care given through hospice.
A 2007 study that looked at Medicare beneficiaries with some of the most common diagnoses leading to death, found that patients who received hospice services lived on average, 29 days longer than those who did not receive hospice care. This study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (March 2007) looked at 4,493 terminally ill patients with either congestive heart failure or cancer of the breast, colon, lung, pancreas, or prostate.
In an earlier study looking at patients with 16 of the most common terminal diagnoses, researchers found that hospice patients lived longer. On average, this ranged from 20 days for those with a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer to 69 days for the cohort of breast cancer patients (JPSM, September 2004).
“There’s an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you’ve given up,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “
What Happens If I Change My Mind?
You may choose to be discharged from hospice service at any time.Additionally, if your condition improves, the disease or illness is cured or goes into remission yyou can be discharged from the program by your physician or our Medical Director. Our Medical Director can make home visits to our patients also. Should your health again decline you can return to service at any time. You can revoke your hospice benefit at any time , if you choose