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Hospice FAQ

Hospice care is medical treatment and support for those with life-threatening, terminal illnesses. Care is provided by a team of professionals including doctors, nurses, health aides and therapists. Hospice is typically available to those with a life expectancy of 6 months or less. The hospice philosophy emphasizes control of pain and the provision of services that allow a terminally ill patient to remain comfortable at home for as long as possible. The primary goal of hospice care is to provide those that are dying or near death with peace, comfort and dignity as they progress towards the end of life.

Since home hospice care is provided outside of a licensed medical facility, and by a combination of medical professionals and family members, there are numerous guidelines that pertain to this type of care. The Virginia Department of Health has stated specific rules and regulations regarding in-home hospice care. Every person involved as part of the unit of care, including the patient themselves, should be aware of these guidelines. Included are procedures regarding provision of care and services, indemnity coverage, criminal record checks and emergency preparedness.

Facts About Hospice Care for Family Caregivers

What is hospice?

Hospice is an approach to care that addresses the specific needs of individuals and families who are facing a life-limiting illness and require end-of-life care. Care focuses on quality rather than quantity of life. The goal is to optimize comfort and dignity during a person’s final days.

Am I eligible for hospice care?

Many families choose hospice care when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. We recommend discussing care options with your loved one’s physician. If the physician believes that hospice care is the right choice, he or she will provide a referral. SUPERIOR Home Health & Hospice staff are available to speak with you about care options, and to coordinate care with your loved one’s physician.

Where is hospice care provided?

Hospice care can be provided in a variety of health care settings. Hospice provides services in the patient’s home, allowing the patient to be in a comfortable and familiar setting while receiving state-of-the art care.

When should we discuss hospice care?

Most people decide to begin hospice care when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or has elected to discontinue treatment for an illness. However, we recommend discussing the possibility of hospice care well in advance.

End-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, but it is best for patients to share their requests before it becomes a concern. Advanced planning helps patients and their families make educated decisions and decreases the likelihood of abrupt or unplanned care situations.

We can be a resource for you. You can discuss your options and decisions with our team and we’re always available to answer any questions you may have.

How do we pay for hospice?

Most health plans cover hospice, including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Even when a patient doesn’t have insurance, SUPERIOR Home Health & Hospice is still an option.

Do we need to see a new physician when receiving hospice care?

No. We want our patients to feel as comfortable and secure as possible, so we do all we can to allow them to continue seeing their current physician. Our staff will partner with the patient’s primary care doctor to coordinate care.

Is hospice care provided around the clock?

Our staff works closely with patients, families and physicians to create personalized care plans based on patient needs. Our team of health care professionals will schedule visits and care according to that plan. We also provide all medication, equipment, and supplies related to the hospice diagnosis. Our staff is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies, answer questions and offer support.

How and when does hospice care begin?

Hospice care can begin as soon as the patient’s doctor makes a formal request or referral. A SUPERIOR Home Health & Hospice representative will then make an effort to visit the patient within 24 hours of receiving the referral, as long as the visit meets the schedule and needs of the patient, family and/or primary caregiver.

Can hospice care really keep patients comfortable?

Our care team receives special training in the treatment of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort and distress. We utilize the most effective tools and resources available to effectively control symptoms and promote well-being. Our care team works together to ensure that we are responsive to the patient’s symptoms and that treatments are updated as the needs of the patient change.


Superior Home Health & Hospice offers a complimentary consultation with an advisor to help you determine your loved one’s home health & hospice needs. To schedule your free consultation, call 805.742.4514 or contact us online.

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