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Frequently Asked Questions

A Conversation About Hospice Care...

Hospice is compassionate care and guidance for life’s final journey. Hospice care relieves many of the physical, emotional and spiritual burdens associated with a life-limiting illness and provides comfort and dignity to each day spent together. The thought of a life limiting illness can be difficult to face, even overwhelming for the individual ... and the family. 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 FAQs

What Is Hospice and Who Can “Go There”?

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.

How Do I Know if Hospice Is Right for Me or My Loved One?

It may be beneficial to learn about hospice even if the need may not be for several years. Open discussions about end-of-life issues are 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.

Who Is Eligible For Hospice?

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.

Is Hospice Only for Cancer Patients?

While those with cancer make up a large portion of 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, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), end-stage AIS, and many other end-stage diseases.

Does Hospice Hasten the Death of a Loved One?

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

What Happens Once I or My Loved One Decides to Enter Hospice?

Once your physician provides an order for a hospice consultation, you can meet with members of the hospice team who will review the case with you to determine if hospice would be the right option.

How Do Excela Health Hospice at Independence Health System Services Work?

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.

What Services Do You Offer?

As a Medicare-certified hospice, Excela Health Hospice offers nursing care, home health aides, social workers, therapists, a dietitian, volunteers, clergy and a bereavement coordinator.

The hospice team can 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.

How Can I Pay for Hospice Care?

Hospice is a Medicare benefit for patients who qualify, and Excela Health Hospice is a Medicare-certified program 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.

What Happens After My Loved One Dies?

After the death of a loved one, a bereavement coordinator will keep in touch for up to a year to help loved ones cope. Additional support groups and programs are offered to help loved ones adjust to life after their loss.

How Do I Make a Referral?

Do you know someone who would benefit from hospice services? 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.

For more information, call Excela Health Home Care at Independence Health System, toll free at:
Available 24 hours a day.