Frequently Asked Questions
When is it appropriate to seek hospice care?
A medical doctors prognosis for the patient is six months or less to live. When the primary care physician and/or the patient determines there is no cure for the disease/illness and the patient wishes to shift treatment from cure to comfort and quality of life Hospice is an available option.
What if there is a new treatment that might cure my disease?
Wonderful! Hospice can be cancelled at any time.
How do I pay for hospice care?
In most cases, including patients with Medicare coverage (click here for information on the Medicare Hospice Benefit), the entire bill will be paid for by your insurance carrier. However, for Medi-Cal and private insurance patients, there may be co-payments, deductibles or share-of-cost expenses that are not covered. In these instances, you will be contacted by the Hinds Hospice business office. However, Hinds Hospice will not turn away patients based on their ability to pay.
What if I just don't want hospice anymore?
You can cancel hospice at any time. If you are dissatisfied with our service, we ask that you call the Director to let her know what has happened. We take great pride in the care we provide and if, for some reason, you are not satisfied we would appreciate knowing what we need to improve.
What if my family cannot take care of me?
The team will work with you to ensure your comfort and safety as well as that of your family's. If they are unable to care for you at home, the team will help with placement at one of our contracted nursing facilities or possibly you can be moved to the Hinds Hospice Home.
What if I get better?
Patients starting hospice care often feel better because their symptoms are managed and perhaps because some of the difficulties are behind them. However, in some cases, people actually do improve and hospice is no longer appropriate for them because the physician believes they will live longer than the 6-month requirement. In this situation we will discuss it with you, your caregivers, our team and your physician to determine if you should stop receiving hospice care.
Is hospice care only for the last few days or weeks of life?
No. Hospice care can begin any time after the physician determines that the patient's life expectancy is six months or less.
What if my home is a nursing facility?
Hospice guidelines require that a hospice have a signed contract with a nursing facility before providing care to any of their residents. This is a really good thing because when hospice and nursing facilities work together, quality care can be delivered wherever you call home.
What if I live in assisted living?
Regulations in an assisted living facility require that the owner obtain a hospice waiver for a resident to receive hospice care. Many of the facilities in our area have chosen to obtain this waiver and provide excellent care. Just ask the management if this is in place. If they have any questions, tell them to call us and we can help with any questions.
What if I need medications and special equipment?
Any medications or equipment needed pertaining to the patient's terminal illness are covered under your hospice insurance benefit.
How can I get this service for myself or a family member?
Anyone can initiate a call for assistance. (559) 317-6010. A nurse will then come to the patient and perform a hospice evaluation to see if the patient qualifies.
Can I change my mind about hospice care?
Absolutely. A patient may discontinue hospice care and begin again at a later date at any time.
Services Provided By Hospice
- The care of your primary physician.
- Nursing care.
- Durable Medical Equipment to keep you comfortable and safe at home.
- Medications to control symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Medical supplies such as dressings for wounds.
- Counseling services by trained professional social workers.
- Chaplain visits.
- Home Health aid services to assist with personal care.
- Short term respite care.
- Physical, Respiratory and Dietary specialists, as needed for your comfort and safety.
- Grief support for your and your family.
The Hospice Interdisciplinary Team
At Hinds Hospice, we continually strive to provide the most complete and compassionate end-of-life care for patients and their families. That is why we have established a very unique Hospice Interdisciplinary Team to care for all aspects involved with a terminally ill patient. The team is comprised of the following professionals:
- Medical Director: Oversees the care of patients, advised the Hospice Team and consults with the patient’s attending physician.
- Registered Nurse And LVN Teams: Provides compassionate, skilled care, with the goal of comfort, safety, support and education for the patient and family.
- Medical Social Worker: Provides emotional support and counseling to help patients and families cope with end-of-life issues.
- Bereavement Counselor: Bereavement (grief and loss) services provided to family members for 13 months after their loss. Additionally, individual counseling and support groups are available.
- Chaplain: Is available to assist patients and families with spiritual concerns throughout this journey.
- Hospice Aide: Is available to assist with the patient’s personal care
- Volunteer: Is available to assist with transportation, errands and visitation.