Hospice FAQ

How long can someone receive Hospice care?

Hospice is not limited to a six-month period, but lasts based on the progression of their illness. Hospice care is provided for as long as necessary when a physician certifies that he or she continues to meet the requirements.

Who pays for hospice care?

BRIO Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance companies. Our professional staff assists patients and their families in determining insurance coverage and payment options.

When is the right time to Choose Hospice?

Hospice is appropriate when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatment, or when a person decides to stop pursuing active treatment for an otherwise terminal disease.   Hospice is palliative care focused on alleviating pain, anxiety and discomfort.

When Hospice diagnosis is given, this means that the terminal illness would predict an average life expectancy of 6 months. Some patients will live longer while others pass prior. Therefore, patients can receive hospice services as long as they meet the requirements under a hospice diagnosis.

“With earlier referral to a hospice program, patients may receive care that results in better management of symptoms leading to a stabilizing of their condition and prolonged survival.” (New England Journal of Medicine).

How does hospice care handle pain management?

The patient and/or family get to decide how they want to handle any pain.   Medication is available to make the patient comfortable at the patient’s request.    All focus is on comfort care to reduce patient’s pain, anxiety and discomfort.

Most people not only fear death but also what they will go through at the time of death, meaning the pain. This is what Hospice care deals with by giving the patient palliative care with a main emphasis on pain control. The objective of hospice is to relieve the problems like pain which interferes with the patient being able to live a quality life with less discomfort. Pain is not just physical but is also emotional as well as spiritual. Hospice deals with all areas of pain with medication, counseling and various kinds of therapy. The success rate of easing pain is high at hospice.

Many patients are heavily drugged from the medication for pain. Because of this, many of the families feel upset that they cannot communicate with them. Even though there is a possibility of the patient being drugged, the care givers here are well trained and give the patients relief without losing their alertness.

Hospice is supported by the bill of rights of pain care which permits the person to ask for relief from pain and to be treated with dignity. Everyone in the team of care providers at hospice supports the patients wish to get relief from pain and be given the necessary medication promptly. The care givers also have to keep the family and the patient informed about the risks and benefits of the medication given for pain relief.

The patient is asked to let the hospice care team know whether the medication has given them relief or not, and if it has not then to assess the dosage and adjust the medication. The patient has a right to refuse or accept any treatment. A quality life at the end of life period is one without pain and a life with dignity.