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  • What is hospice?
    Hospice is not a “place”. It is a philosophy of care focusing on comfort versus curative treatment. Although hospice patients are dealing with life limiting illnesses, hospice care is unique in that it treats the person rather than the disease. The focus of hospice care is on quality of life. Hospice surrounds the patient and family with a team consisting of professionals who not only address symptom management, but emotional and spiritual issues as well. Hospice care is patient-centered. The needs of the patient and family drive the individualized plan of care provided by the hospice team.
  • Can I choose my own hospice?
    Absolutely! Choosing a hospice provider that you feel comfortable with is so important. Please remember you have the right to choose whichever hospice provider you desire, regardless of who is recommended to you. It is important to find out about the services that each hospice offers. If there are several hospices that serve your area, we recommend choosing a few to interview. Bridges offers a “Choosing Your Hospice Provider” interview form that can assist you in asking questions that may help you make an informed decision. Once you make your decision, it is extremely important that you ask your physician for that hospice provider by name.
  • Are there signs that a patient might be ready for hospice services?
    The signs that a patient is ready for hospice vary from patient to patient. Here are a few indicators you may see that would suggest a hospice evaluation is appropriate: •Withdrawing from activities •Frequent falls •Unintentional weight loss •Reoccurring infections •Multiple emergency room visits and /or hospitalizations •Verbalizes desire not to go back to the hospital •Increased amount of time sleeping •Decreases appetite
  • I think my loved one needs hospice, where do I start?"
    Once you have chosen a hospice, the first step is to set up a hospice evaluation. This is a free service that anyone can request. A member from the hospice will ask for initial information on the phone and then a hospice nurse will visit the patient in order to assess the patient’s needs and their condition. During this visit, the nurse will assess to see if the patient is eligible for hospice and address any questions you may have. In most cases, patients that meet the hospice eligibility requirements and request our services can be admitted to our program the same day.
  • Is Hospice covered by my insurance?
    Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. Hospice is a financial relief to many because services related to the life-limiting illness, such as medication, equipment and supplies, are covered by hospice benefits with no out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Will there be a fee for a hospice consultation?
    Patients and their families do not receive a bill from hospice for any services provided, including the initial consultation.
  • What happens if I do not have insurance?
    Bridges hospice may be able to provide care when necessary. The funding for this care is sponsored through donations, gifts, or other community resources.
  • Can I keep my doctor if I choose hospice care?
    Yes. The Medicare Hospice Benefit encourages patients to choose a physician who is willing to direct their care while receiving hospice care. Often times, the patient’s primary care physician is the doctor most familiar with the patient and their history.
  • Who is the hospice team?
    The hospice team consists of a registered nurse case manager, a hospice aide, a medical social worker, and spiritual counselor. This core team works with the patient’s doctor and our medical director to determine the best plan of care to ensure the highest level of comfort and quality of life during our journey together.
  • How often does the hospice nurse visit?
    A plan of care will be developed according to the patient and family needs. This plan of care will determine the frequency of visits by the hospice team. Be assured you will receive visits from your hospice team as often as needed.
  • Where do patients receive hospice care?
    Hospice is provided wherever the patient calls home. This could be a private residence, assisted living community, personal care home, or skilled nursing facility.
  • Why would I need Hospice in a facility if they already have aides and nurses on duty?
    Hospice staff offers a unique specialized skill set to supplement the custodial care the facility provides. Our team is only focused on your loved one during their visit. This allows them the time needed to build a relationship with you and your loved one so we can develop a plan of care focused on your needs.
  • Will hospice care for my loved one 24/7?
    Hospice is supplemental care provided to assist families in caring for their loved ones at the end of life. While the hospice team does not provide care 24/7, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions, manage symptoms, and respond to emergencies.
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