The following are a compilation of questions and answers that might help you better understand hospice care and what we have to offer. Please select the question to see the expanded answer. As always, feel free to contact us with any further questions.
What is Hospice?
Hospice care involves a core interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological, and spiritual support to the terminally ill, as well as support for the patient's family. The care is primarily based in the home, enabling families to remain together in peace, comfort, and dignity.
What does Joint Commission Accreditation mean?In becoming accredited, Front Range Hospice was evaluated against a set of national standards by the Joint Commission's surveyor experienced in the delivery of home care services," says Maryanne Popovich, R.N., executive director, Home Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. "Achieving accreditation demonstrates Front Range Hospice's commitment to providing high quality and safe care to its clients." The Joint Commission standards are higher then the state and federal regulations that all hospices must meet. Therefore, Front Range Hospice has chosen to exceed the required standards, all in the interest in delivering the safest care possible. Concerns about patient safety or quality of care can be directed to the Leadership Team at Front Range Hospice (303-957-3101) or to Joint Commission at 1-800-994-6610.
Who directs my care?
You do. Hospice is probably unlike any experience you are aware of in healthcare, except for home births. You are in control. You tell us what level of symptom control you want and with our hospice trained pharmacist, our medical director, and your physician, we come up with a plan to meet your goal.
Do we have to talk about death all the time?
On the contrary, hospice is about life. Hospice care is somewhat dependent on you and your family understanding that life in this form is finite. We help you focus on living. Living each day with as much gusto as possible. We offer ways to heal relationships, to help your family prepare for the future, and to help you and your family live in the present.
Who makes up my care team?
You, the patient, are at the center of the team. The entire team includes your family (however you define family), your physician, the Front Range Hospice team, and your minister, rabbi, priest, or other community spiritual leader, if you have one.
Who pays for hospice care?
Hospice services are covered under Medicare, and currently 45 states offer hospice care as an option under their Medicaid programs. In addition, hospice care is a covered benefit under most private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations. Military personnel and their dependents are covered for hospice under CHAMPUS. Hospices continue to rely heavily on grants and community support to fund unreimbursed care and hospice services for patients with little or no insurance. Reference: Hospice Association of America www.nahc.org
What is the future of hospice care?
The need for hospices will continue to rise due to the growing aging population, the increasing number of persons with AIDS, and the rising health care costs. More importantly, medical professionals, as well as the general public are choosing hospice over other forms of health care delivery because of its holistic, patient-family, in-home centered philosophy.
How many hospices exist today?
Medicare hospice participation has grown at a dramatic rate, largely as a result of a 1989 Congressional mandate (PL 101-239, §6005) to increase reimbursement rates by 20%. The number of hospices participating in Medicare increased from 31 in 1984 to 2,273 in 2000. This number consists of 739 home health agency-based hospices, 554 hospital-based hospices, 20 skilled nursing facility-based hospices, and 960 freestanding hospices.
When was the first hospice established?
While the hospice concept dates back to ancient times, the American hospice movement did not begin until the 1960s. The first hospice in this country, The Connecticut Hospice, Inc., began providing in-home services in March 1974. It was funded by the National Cancer Institute for its first three years.
What are the advantages of Hospice Care?
■Hospice care is a cost-effective alternative to the high costs associated with hospitals and traditional institutional care.
■Hospice care allows terminally ill patients and their families to remain together in the comfort and dignity of their home.
■Hospice care relies on the combined knowledge and skill of an interdisciplinary team of professionals, including physicians, nurses, home care aides, social workers, counselors, and volunteers.
■Hospice is the preferred choice of health care delivery for the terminally ill and their families.
■Hospice treats the person, not the disease; focuses on the family, not the individual; and emphasizes the quality of life, not the duration.