Frequently Asked Questions
What is hospice?
Hospice care is a set of health services specialized to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to curative therapies.
Is hospice only for cancer patients?
Hospice is for anyone with a life limiting illness who has a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
Why would my loved one need hospice when they live in a nursing facility?
Because hospice care is a Medicare/Medicaid benefit, Pathways to Compassion can provide hospice services wherever the patient calls home. The benefit of receiving hospice services in a nursing facility is for the additional services that include pain and symptom management, medical equipment that is not routinely supplied by a nursing home, and emotional/spiritual support for the patient, family
Who pays for hospice services?
We take all methods of payment; or Medicaid/Medicare/all insurances
When is the right time to call/discuss Hospice?
When traditional treatments and services are no longer effective. Hospice is best experienced when the patient is referred early in the terminal phase of the disease process. It’s very valuable for patients and families to discuss advanced care planning as early as possible in their illness. Many patients and families will tell us they wish they had been referred to hospice earlier.
What does hospice pay for?
The Medicare hospice benefit provides for all of the staff, medications, durable medical equipment, medical supplies and all other Medicare Part A services associated with the terminal illness or related illnesses.
Do I have to give up all treatments/meds to have hospice?
No, you don’t need to stop all your medications. Hospice will cover all medications associated with your hospice diagnosis, and all other medications continue to be paid for the way they always have been.
Can I see my own doctor?
Yes and we encourage patients to maintain their relationship with their physician most involved in their care.
Where is care provided?
Hospice services are provided in whatever location is considered home to the patient: residential home, assisted living facility, nursing facility, or in some cases in-patient hospice units. Care may also be provided on a short term basis in hospitals or inpatient hospice units.
Will you stop all my medications?
No. Hospice does not mean all treatment stops but rather an approach to treatment which focuses on comfort and symptom control. We will not stop or start any medications without discussing with your physician.
What is the first step?
We can come out to discuss hospice with you or your loved one at any time. Should you elect to enroll in hospice, we would need to obtain an order from your physician.
Is hospice care provided 24/7?
We are available 24/7 for on call emergencies and you will be connected with our triage on call nurse who will help you. For non-emergencies we have staff that visit frequently and empower the family to take care of their loved ones at home.
Is this care only temporary?
Our hospice team will evaluate you or your loved ones condition on an ongoing basis. Occasionally, patients no longer have a need for hospice. Should this occur, the team will coordinate discharge from hospice with you and your loved one and insure there is no interruption of needed services.
How often will your staff visit?
The frequency of visits from your hospice care team will depend in large part upon your needs and your care goals. Every patient’s plan of care is customized to the individual patient and family’s goals and care needs. Our interdisciplinary care team includes physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, respiratory therapists and more. Your care needs will fluctuate and change over time, and your hospice care team will visit you to provide the care and support you need based on those changes. We have hospice care staff available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in order to provide a prompt care response to any patient emergencies.
Who can make a referral?
Anyone–physician, patient (self-referral), family, friend, loved one. Click here to make a referral.