Common questions about hospice

Click on a question below to see the answer.


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Q: When is it time to ask about hospice?

A: Patients should consider hospice care when medical treatments can no longer cure their illness, or when the severity of symptoms is greater than the benefits of treatment. Other indications that patients may be ready for hospice include unrelieved pain, frequent infections, frequent trips to the emergency department, sudden or progressive decline in physical activities, shortness of breath while on oxygen, significant weight loss or difficulty swallowing.

Q: Our doctor suggested hospice. I’d like to know more about what would happen next.
A: You or your provider can contact our hospice and make a referral at any time. Once we receive the referral, we will coordinate a time to meet with the patient and family to discuss and assess the patient for services. Choosing hospice can sometimes be a difficult decision. We honor your choice for the care you prefer and are here if you want to learn more. If hospice currently isn’t right for you, that is OK.
Q: What qualifies patients to receive hospice care?
A: A patient is eligible for hospice services when their illness is considered terminal, meaning their provider has determined they could possibly die within six months if their disease continues as expected. There are also medical guidelines that providers and hospices use to determine eligibility.
Q: Does insurance cover hospice?
A: Hospice is covered 100% by Medicare and Medicaid. Some private insurances may require a copayment or coinsurance. We invite you to contact us for more information.
Q: Can my primary care provider stay involved?
A: Yes, that is your choice. Our hospice physicians and team members are very happy to work closely with your primary care provider to ensure your needs are met. Your provider can choose the level of participation they feel comfortable with.
Q: Does hospice mean giving up?
A: Not at all! Hospice focuses on the patient’s comfort, wishes and continued quality of life, as well as any support family and caregivers need. While care no longer includes curative measures, hospice works with you to provide comfort and to treat your symptoms, such as pain, shortness of breath and emotional suffering.
Q: Our family member is not a Housecall Providers patient. Does hospice accept new patients?
A: Yes, we welcome adult patients who are new to us. We treat all our patients as family and deliver patient-centered care regardless of age, race, religion or complexity of medical needs.
Q: Is hospice an actual place?
A: Hospice brings physical, emotional and spiritual care and support to whatever place the patient calls home. Hospice can be a supplement, with regular visits that include caregiver education. This helps caregivers feel confident in the care they provide. Patients who require care around the clock will need a primary caregiver.
Q: What happens if a patient’s health gets better while on hospice?
A: Sometimes a patient’s health improves with hospice services because of symptom management and the shift in focus to comfort care. Medicare regulations require that the hospice discharge patients whose underlying disease is no longer considered terminal. If the patient would like to transfer to Housecall Providers’ home-based primary care, the hospice team can make the referral.
Q: Other questions?
A: Our experienced intake team gladly answers any questions. Reach them at 971-202-5501 or

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