Heart to Heart Hospice believes that it is important for individuals to understand the common misconceptions that exist regarding hospice care. Having this information may help you assess whether or not the hospice benefit is the appropriate choice for yourself or a loved one.
Myth: Hospice is a place.
Fact: Hospice is a service, not a place. It is philosophy of care which can be provided nearly anywhere a patient calls home; including residents, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and many others. A team of medical professionals develop a care plan to help eliminate the pain and symptoms associated with a life-limiting illness.
Myth: Electing hospice means giving up hope.
Fact: Hospice focuses on caring for patients and their families, with an emphasis on positive outcomes. Through setting goals and creating a comprehensive care plan, Heart to Heart Hospice enables patients to be painfree in a comforting environment. Patients maintain their dignity, while knowing that their loved ones have the support that they need.
Myth: Hospice is only for patients in the last weeks or days of life.
Fact: Hospice is available for patients not just in the last few weeks or days of life, but can actually be given for up to six months. The earlier a patient receives hospice care, the better the opportunity to stabilize the medical condition and address some of the patient’s other needs.
Myth: Hospice patients are not permitted to continue services with their primary care physicians.
Fact: Hospice programs encourage the continuation of attending physician/patient relationships. In fact, patients may continue care with their physician, who will work closely with the Heart to Heart Hospice care team.
Myth: Only cancer patients are eligible for hospice.
Fact: While cancer is one of the prominent life-limiting illnesses of hospice patients, there are several other debilitating illnesses and diseases that qualify patients for hospice services.
Myth: Hospice is just for the patient.
Fact: Hospice is not just for the patient, but for their loved ones as well. The emphasis is on managing pain and symptoms, while providing supportive services to the patient and their family. Bereavement support and counseling may continue for up to 13 months to the surviving family members and friends.
Myth: It is best to continue a patient’s current treatment method, rather than elect hospice services.
Fact: Even with the advances in medicine and treatment options, a cure for a terminal illness or disease is not always possible. Continuing treatment, if available, may compromise the quality of life for patients. Consult with a physician regarding the expected outcomes of continuing treatment, as opposed to beginning hospice services. Hospice programs provide treatment options to help manage pain and control symptoms, while fostering the highest quality of life for each patient and their loved ones.
Myth: Hospice is not covered by insurance and families have to pay out-of-pocket.
Fact: Hospice is fully covered through the Medicare Hospice Benefit resulting in no out-of-pocket expenses for all patients that meet the eligibility requirements. Hospice is also covered through most Medicaid and private insurers.
Myth: The hospice care team is not available to patients and families at all times.
Fact: The Heart to Heart Hospice care team visits patients intermittently, but are available to the patients, families and caregivers at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Myth: All Hospices are the same.
Fact: All accredited hospice programs are required to meet certain standards; however there are different philosophies of care, supportive services, and hospice care team members that set particular hospice programs apart from others. Heart to Heart Hospice strives to exceed the quality standards in end-of-life care, while enhancing the lives of our patients and their loved ones.