Hosparus Health offers compassionate care for patients and families who choose to have the best quality of life possible until the end of life. We provide hospice and palliative care, wherever our patients call home.

Our hospice care model provides comprehensive care for those with a terminal diagnosis who are expected to live six months or less. Hosparus Health’s hospice care involves a team-oriented approach that is expressly tailored to each person’s needs and wishes.

Because we believe so strongly that our model can help patients and families for years rather than months or weeks, Hosparus Health is piloting an expansion of our home-based services beyond traditional hospice care to include palliative and advanced illness care for both adults and children in select communities. This will allow us to take care of patients, longer, well beyond the current six-month hospice benefit.

Our enhanced vision through this expansion is to be the pre-eminent provider of compassionate life care, offering specialized, person-centered care for anyone who is seriously ill.

Our hope is that hundreds more families will engage in quality palliative and hospice care for longer periods of time. And remember, our expertise is not only for adults. Our Hosparus Health Kourageous Kids program, the first and oldest pediatric program in the country, will continue to provide a complete continuum of advanced illness and hospice care to families supporting sick children.

Each patient and family engaged in any of our programs receives care and counseling from a dedicated team of professionals and volunteers.  

The team includes:
Your personal physician, Hosparus Health physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, social worker, certified nursing assistant, grief counselor, spiritual counselor and volunteer. Learn more about how our care teams provide care.

 

FAQ (click on question to reveal answer)

What is hospice?

Hospice is a type of specialized care for patients who suffer from multiple or incurable illnesses with a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice care promotes quality of life by ensuring patient comfort, and providing the physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual support needed for anyone dealing with a terminal illness. Hospice care also offers practical support for caregivers and family members.  

What is palliative care?

Unlike hospice, palliative and advanced illness care is not limited by a patient’s life expectancy and can be provided at any stage of an illness. This home-based care program focuses on optimizing quality of life by  improving care coordination among all providers, better management of treatments and medications, assistance with daily living needs, coordination of social services and counseling for patients with a difficult-to-manage chronic illness. Currently, Hosparus Health is offering adult palliative care through a private-pay pilot program in select communities. Unlike hospice, palliative care is not covered by most insurance.

Who can receive hospice care?

To receive hospice services, a patient must be diagnosed as terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease follows its normal course. While many people associate hospice care with cancer, most patients have other life-limiting illnesses such as chronic heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia, liver disease and renal disease.

Where is hospice care provided?

Hosparus Health provides hospice care wherever a patient calls home. This is most often a family residence, but we also provide our care services in other settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, an inpatient unit or hospital. 

When should Hosparus Health be contacted?

Hospice care is appropriate when the illness progresses and treatment becomes less effective, causing more pain and suffering for the patient and family. Our goal is allow our patients to control symptoms and allow the patient to live as pain-free and comfortably as possible, so they can make the most out of the time they have left. You should contact Hosparus Health when the patient experiences:

  • an increase in pain, nausea, breathing distress or other symptoms
  • repeated hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room
  • failure to “bounce back” after medical setbacks
  • decrease in function requiring assistance for walking, eating, bathing, dressing and or going to the bathroom
  • decrease in alertness – patient is emotionally withdrawn, sleeping more or having increased difficulty with comprehension
  • significant decrease in appetite and weight loss 
Who can refer a patient for hospice care?

It is important to know that anyone – the patient, loved ones or others involved in providing care – can make the first contact with Hosparus Health to help determine if the patient meets medical eligibility requirements.

 

A physician must determine if someone meets the medical eligibility requirements for hospice services, but the patient or a loved one can bring up the subject and let their physician know they would be interested in learning more about hospice care when appropriate. 

What if my doctor does not mention hospice?

The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other health care professionals, clergy, or friends. We encourage everyone to prepare Advance Directives to describe the  type of care they want to receive at the end of life.  

How does the admission process work?

A Hosparus Health admission nurse will visit to provide an overview of services and assess the patient for hospice medical eligibility. Once the patient/family have decided to accept hospice care, the admission nurse will address any immediate needs during his/her visit and discuss how the patient's Hosparus Health team will be involved moving forward.

What if I am hearing impaired or need an interpreter?

Hosparus Health provides interpreters to communicate with patients who have significant hearing loss or who cannot speak, read, write or understand the English language at a level that permits them to interact effectively with our staff members. We also will provide all vital documents in the requested primary language. These services are provided free of charge.

What makes Hosparus Health unique?

Hosparus Health is one of the largest non-profit hospice organizations in the country, serving more than 7,600 patients and families. We did so in large part because we practice CARES – our proprietary service model for end of life care – Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Empowerment, Service. It is designed to create the best experience for patients and families by focusing on service and clinical excellence to continually improve quality outcomes. Team members are trained on the CARES model in our state-of-the-art innovation and education center and through our custom-designed training programs. 

Who pays for hospice care?

Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance plans cover 100% of hospice services related to terminal illness. Coverage generally provides for necessary medication, medical equipment and supplies.

 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we care for patients regardless of their ability to pay. 

What if a hospice patient gets better?

If the patient's condition improves and the disease seems to be in remission, Hosparus Health will discharge the patient, and he or she may receive other medical care. If a discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, the patient can be readmitted to the program. 

What is the role of the family and primary caregiver?

Hosparus Health provides a team of skilled professionals who support the family and primary caregiver in their care and support to the patient. Hospice team members will call and visit regularly, always ready to listen to concerns and offer assistance with caregiving plans. The team teaches the family and primary caregiver symptom management and supportive skills. 

How many family members or friends are needed to care for a patient at home?

The amount of care needed depends on the patient. One of the first things a hospice team will do is prepare an individualized care plan that will, among other things, address the amount of caregiving a patient needs, and determine who will provide this care. Hosparus Health staff visit regularly and are always accessible to answer questions and provide support. 

Does someone need to be with the patient at all times?

In the early weeks of care, it’s usually not necessary for someone to be with the patient all the time. As the patient becomes weaker and needs more assistance, Hosparus Health generally recommends someone be there continuously. While family and friends must provide most of the care, Hosparus Health volunteers are available to assist with errands and to provide respite for major caregivers. Hosparus Health social workers can also direct the family to other resources for caregiving. 

How do I prepare my home for hospice care?

Your Hosparus Health team makes arrangements for medical equipment, such as a hospital bed, bedside commode, wheelchair or oxygen. Your team will also delivery supplies such as disposable pads, gloves and dressings, and if needed, other items related to your hospice plan of care.

How does Hosparus Health manage pain and discomfort?

Our hospice nurses and physicians are up-to-date on the latest medications and techniques for pain and symptom relief. Ongoing assessment and assistance are provided. Accurate, efficient follow-through with pharmacies assures that medications are available as needed.

 

Hosparus Health believes that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so we address this through social workers, chaplains and therapists. Additionally, musician volunteers and massage therapy volunteers are available for relaxation and emotional support. Certified nursing assistants provide help with bathing, skin care and many other practical needs of the patient. 

Does hospice cover the cost of medications?

Your insurance hospice benefit generally covers the cost of medications related to the terminal illness. Hosparus Health consults with a pharmacy specializing in medications needed by hospice patients for guidance in determining medications that are proven effective for relieving the symptoms experienced by people with life-limiting illnesses. Our hospice team will work with the patient's doctor to get related medications changed to medications that are included in the hospice guidelines. Patients may decide to take other medications that are not covered by their hospice insurance benefits. In those cases, the patient is responsible for payment.

Does Hosparus Health provide any help to the family after the patient dies?

Absolutely. Bereavement services are available to the family for 13 months after the death free of charge. The Hosparus Health Grief Counseling Center's skilled counselors offer a wide variety of programming and support for both adults and children.  

Does Hosparus Health do anything to make death come sooner?

Hosparus does not prolong life or hasten death. The goal of hospice care is to relieve symptoms and keep the patient comfortable, while allowing death to occur naturally. Just as doctors and midwives lend support and expertise during the time of childbirth, Hosparus provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process. 

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