Hospice Q & A

Q: What is hospice?

Hospice is a specialized type of care for terminally ill patients, their families and their caregivers. The goal of hospice care is not to cure patients, but rather to help them and their loved ones cope with the physical, emotional and spiritual pain associated with a terminal illness.

Each hospice care team provides an individualized care plan to ensure the best quality of life possible for the time that is left. Covered services may include nursing care, pain medication, dietary counseling, hospice aide services, chaplain visits, respite care, and grief counselling.

Q: Who is eligible for hospice?

To qualify for hospice care, a patient must be certified as terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less by two physicians—one of whom is a hospice doctor.

Q: Who pays for hospice?

Hospice services are a Medicare benefit, meaning that Medicare covers the cost of all hospice services, comfort medications, medical supplies, and medical equipment related to the diagnosis. Most HMOs and private insurance companies also offer hospice benefits, as does the VA and Medicaid.

Q: How soon does hospice care begin?

On the day a referral is received, our representative will contact the patient and/or caregiver to discuss services needed and scheduling for care. In most cases, patients are immediately admitted to hospice.

Q: When is it time to call hospice?

When a person’s disease progresses to the point where there are no viable treatments and life expectancy is less than 6 months, hospice becomes an option.

Many terminal diagnoses can be managed better with hospice care. Examples include: heart disease, cancer, lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, end-stage liver or kidney disease, stroke, HIV, or any life-limiting condition that has caused a rapid decline over the past two to six months.

Q: How do I find out if services are available in my area?

Give us a call at 1-866-846-8081. Tennessee Quality Care representatives are available to answer your questions and help with patient placement. You also can speak to our local staff by calling the office near you. Click here for hospice locations.