What is hospice?
Avatar Healthcare offers hospice care for patients and families dealing with life-limiting and advanced illnesses. Hospice is comprehensive social, medical, and spiritual care that supports patients and their families when an illness no longer responds to curative treatments, or when a patient chooses not to pursue aggressive therapies.
When is hospice appropriate?
Hospice is designed for patients with advanced terminal diseases. However, families are encouraged to consider hospice care as soon as a family member is diagnosed with a terminal disease, such as cancer, COPD, or heart failure.
What hospice services are available?
At Avatar Healthcare, we cater to the needs of both the patient and their family members.
Our hospice services include:
- 24-Hour Care
- Skilled Nursing
- Case Management
- Medical Social Services
- Respite Care
- Pain Management
- Medication Assistance
- Spiritual Services
- Bereavement Support
- Home Health Aide
- Other services as required
About Our Hospice Services
When the family of a patient explores hospice care, they are doing their part by being informed.
Hospice is a personalized plan to help a loved one find the relief, dignity, and highest quality of life.
At Avatar Healthcare, our full-service team offers a variety of solutions for end-of-life care. Our goal is to support the patient and close family members with physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual care. In addition, these hospice services allow families to optimize their time together and create lasting memories.
While hospice care often includes pain and symptom management, the services extend far beyond these basic medical needs.
The purpose of hospice services is to improve quality of life through a full range of services. Individuals work with their hospice care team to access a variety of resources, including:
- Financial assistance
- Personal care services
- Music therapy
- Emotional support
- Caregiver respite
- Spiritual comfort
- Grief Support
- Community resources
Together, we honor the patient’s wishes and provide essential support to the patient and their caregivers. Often, these services are beneficial in extending the time that families can spend together.
Qualifying for Hospice
How do you know when you qualify for hospice services? This care is available for patients of all ages, as long as the person is diagnosed with a terminal illness and meets the following eligibility requirements:
- Doctor certification that the patient is terminally ill and has a prognosis of 6 months or less
- Patient signs paperwork to decline all forms of curative treatment
- The person is experiencing declining health and requires ongoing medical and home care
- Daily activities are affected by the patient’s health, including eating, grooming, and mobility
Before receiving financial support for hospice services, you must have a face-to-face hospice evaluation with a medical provider. Your doctor will evaluate current medical conditions and see how symptoms and progression are changing.
It’s common for a doctor to certify a patient for hospice if the person has had multiple hospitalizations recently. Additionally, a determination that curative treatments are no longer working means that the family might choose to focus on comfort and support instead of curing the disease.
Some hospice programs also have disease-specific requirements for eligibility. Talk to your doctor about your diagnosis to determine if there is anything that needs to be considered for you to qualify for hospice services.
Benefits from Hospice Services
As you learn more about available services through hospice, it’s easy to see the benefits you will receive by working with a hospice team. Common benefits include:
- Any Location: Hospice services allow the patient more flexibility in choosing their location. Often, hospice enables a person to move back home or to an assisted living center after being in a hospital or skilled nursing home.
- Physical Relief: Pain and chronic symptoms are often a big area that needs to be addressed. When a patient declines curative treatments, then hospice fills in the gap by providing pain management and symptom relief.
- Personalized Plan: Every patient is unique, which is why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all hospice plan. Instead, we work with you to find the ideal services to align with your preferences.
- Financial Options: Hospice might seem like an expensive care plan. But the good news is that most people qualify for hospice coverage through insurance or government health programs. Qualifying for hospice can reduce the financial burden on the family.
- Full Service: The good news is that our experienced team at Avatar Healthcare can provide you with a full range of services to support every area of your life. There’s no need to choose multiple providers when we have all of the staff, medical supplies, and resources you need.
What is the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?
Both palliative care and hospice care include services to support a patient with pain and symptom relief. But the overarching goals vary, depending on the patient’s current situation.
Hospice care is only available for patients who are focusing on symptom management, not curative treatment. So, all hospice medical care prioritizes comfort without curative intent. Hospice is available when a patient has a prognosis of 6 months or less.
In comparison, palliative care can be provided while the patient is also receiving curative treatments. This service can be accessed at any stage of the disease.
For example, if a cancer patient is receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation as a treatment, then they can also receive palliative care simultaneously. The only way for the patient to qualify for hospice care is by opting out of the cancer treatments.
How Much Does Hospice Cost?
The good news is that most families don’t need to pay much money for high-quality hospice care. The financial burden can be a challenge during this difficult time. Qualifying for hospice means that you can tap into available financial coverage.
100% of hospice services are covered through healthcare providers, including:
- Private Insurance
- Veterans Administration
Check into details about your personal coverage by talking to our hospice team at Avatar Healthcare. We’ll help you get in touch with your insurance provider to understand details about your coverage. Our goal is to reduce the family’s financial burden as much as possible.
Getting Started with Hospice Services
Is it time for you or a loved one to use hospice services? Then you must get a referral from a doctor and talk to a hospice care team.
You have the option to talk to your doctor first. Or, contact us at Avatar Healthcare so we can assist you in getting the hospice certification through your doctor. We offer full-service support every step of the way.
Just because you talk to our team doesn’t mean that you must begin hospice services immediately. In fact, patients are never required to stay on a hospice plan indefinitely.
You always have the option to opt-out of hospice care for any reason. Then, you can re-engage these services when the timing is right if you still qualify for hospice benefits.
Avatar Healthcare is Here to Help
At Avatar Healthcare, our caring and compassionate team is here to offer the support and encouragement that your family needs. We understand the unique challenges you are facing when it’s time for hospice care.
We work hard to offer the highest levels of comfort and respite to improve quality of life as much as possible. Hospice care is one of our main services. We also have additional options, such as home health and personal home care services.
For more details about available services, contact our team at Avatar Healthcare. Call to schedule a consultation so you can ask questions and access information about these services: (844) 422-5528.
Who is eligible for hospice?
Terminally ill patients, with a 6-month or less life expectancy, are eligible for hospice care services. Patients who choose to no longer pursue aggressive therapies may also be eligible for care.
Discuss your options with a nurse today. Being informed helps families make the best decisions.