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A Conversation About Hospice Care...

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are unfamiliar with home care, how it can help, and whether or not a loved one may need it, join in the conversation.

Hospice is not a place, but rather a concept of care that emphasizes symptom control and pain management for those with a life-limiting illness. Hospice provides support, care, and comfort for those wishing to remain at home, in familiar surroundings, among family and friends.

It may be beneficial to learn about hospice even if the need may not be for several years. We understand that that discussion about end-of-life issues is hard, but when a loved one shares his or her wishes beforehand, it can reduce stress when the time comes for hospice care. Making the decision to enter hospice can begin with a frank discussion with your doctor or others such as a social worker, nurse, or your clergy person.

Because the focus of hospice is on comfort, not cure, it may be an option of care for those with a life limiting illness. An individual must choose hospice care and may be referred by a family member, physician, clergy or others.

While those with cancer make up a large portion of our patients, hospice care is also appropriate for those with other terminal illness such as end stage lung disease, end stage heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), end-stage AIS, and many other end stage diseases.

No. Hospice neither hastens death nor does it delay imminent passing. It lends support, specialized care and caring during the dying process.

Once your physician provides an order for a hospice consultation, you can meet with members of the hospice team who will review the case. Just because you have a consult, that does not mean you have to accept hospice or that the hospice program automatically accepts the patient. But, a consult is generally a good first step.

After a referral is made, an individualized plan of care and treatment is developed based on physician orders and a general assessment, which includes input from the patient and family. The attending physician is routinely informed about the patient’s status, and the care plan may be adjusted as needed. Patients and families can call when questions arise, assistance or reassurance is needed. As a Medicare-certified hospice, we offer nursing care, home health aides, social workers, therapists, a dietitian, volunteers, clergy and a bereavement coordinator.

Yes, we also help with medications related to pain management and hospice diagnosis; medical equipment and supplies; short-term inpatient acute care at approved medical facilities; respite care at approved medical facilities for caregiver relief; 24 hours a day, seven days a week on-call availability, and bereavement follow-up.

Hospice is a Medicare benefit for patients who qualify and Excela Health Hospice is a Medicare-certified program and provided under the approval and supervision of your family physician. It is also a covered service under most Medicaid plans and private insurances. Excela Health Hospice can verify all insurance coverage before the initiation of care.

After the death of a loved one, our bereavement coordinator keeps in touch for up to a year to help loved ones cope. We also offer support groups and programs that may help loved ones adjust to life after their loss. For more information about our hospice program or additional questions about our programs, referrals, services or payments, please call Excela Health Hospice, 724-689-1800 or toll free 1-800-427-1400.

Do you know someone who would benefit from hospice services? Or, do you think you may need hospice? To make a referral, call Excela Health Hospice, 724-689-1800 or toll free 1-800-427-1400.