Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy


When a patient enrolls in a hospice program, there is a wide array of services which are to be provided. If the patient does not have symptoms which are out of control and which require Continuous Nursing care, then the patient is placed on the Routine Home Care Level of Services. This level applies whether the patient resides in a facility or in his or her own home. Routine Home Care includes the following:

RN Casemanager visits
Social Worker visits as needed
Home Health Aide services
Counselors (Dietitian or other if needed)
Hospice Medical Director
Therapy if indicated

All of the above are provided as needed to manage the terminal illness and help the patient maintain comfort. How often the Registered Nurse or Social Worker visits is determined by the needs of the patient. All the hospice staff work together with the patient's Attending Physician to create a plan of care which addresses the needs of the patient. Home health aides may visit once, twice or three times a week to help with bathing and activities of daily living ("ADL's").

Even with all the above services, you also have 24 hour access to hospice registered nurses who are "on-call" to answer questions and help you deal with situations that may arise after hours. These services are part of the "hospice benefit" reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.

If you are considering using a hospice, booklets or other printed literature may be available to help you understand the services provided. If you have additional questions about what services are provided by any hospice in your area, they will be happy to discuss their services when you contact them.

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