Common Questions About Hospice Care
1. Why choose hospice care?
The decision to choose hospice care is a very personal one. It involves the patient, family, physician and loved ones who may provide care. Old Colony Hospice's expertise in pain and symptom management and ability to provide complex medical care ensures that the patient is kept comfortable throughout the experience. Hospice enables the patient to focus on living his or her remaining days fully, among family and friends, with the utmost regard for quality of life. The emphasis on caring for the family's needs, as well as the patient's needs, makes hospice care unique.
2. Can I keep my own physician?
Yes, your primary care physician will work with the hospice nurse to develop a Plan of Care that best meets your needs and the needs of your caregivers.
3. How often will the team visit me?
The hospice nurse will develop a Plan of Care with you at the time of your admission to the hospice program. This plan will be updated periodically, but no less frequently than every 15 days. He or she will discuss your needs and help determine the frequency of scheduled visits including nurses, social workers, hospice aides, counselors, volunteers, etc. You are encouraged to discuss changes in the schedule with your nurse. In addition, a nurse is available by phone 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to answer questions, give advice, or make an extra visit if needed.
4. What if I have no health insurance?
Hospice care is provided to any individual who meets the eligibility criteria for admission, regardless of ability to pay. Charitable care is funded through the generosity of grants, gifts from community organizations and local businesses, as well as through memorial donations. If you do not have health insurance, you will be asked to complete a financial assessment, and hospice care will be provided.
5. How is hospice paid for?
Payment for hospice services may come from Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross, HMOs, and other private health insurance plans. In Massachusetts, all commercial insurers are required to provide a hospice benefit. Anyone with a "senior plan" such as First Seniority or Secure Horizons is eligible for hospice coverage.