Hospice Care Specifics
Is it too early to consider hospice?
Hospice care is palliative, not curative, in goals and treatments. Referrals are usually made when a life-limiting condition is believed to be advancing, when medical intervention has reached its maximum benefit, and when the individual or his/her representative decides to focus on maintaining comfort and symptom management at home rather than in the hospital. We don’t seek to prolong life beyond its natural course, nor does our involvement hasten death in any way.
Hospice is generally intended to be about a six month program. Early recognition of these circumstances best allows meaningful support to patients and their families. Your prognosis is reviewed every two or three months, and you may discontinue hospice if your condition has stabilized, or if you decide to pursue additional treatment.
What nursing care do you provide to your patients?
Routine care provides supportive, intermittent visits to the patient and the primary caregiver, including supplies, equipment, personal care, medications, and instruction, and the emotional and spiritual support to maintain care in your residence through an illness. Visits are scheduled throughout the week. We help problem solve for each patient’s unique circumstances to access the resources required. Should the patient require additional part time or full time support in the home, we will assist in finding that help. However, Hospice does not supply or pay for that care. Long term care insurance or in-home support services through Medi-Cal may defray some of the cost.
Continuous care is a short-term provision for eight hours or more of daily nursing care. This care is for crisis situations only such as pain or symptoms out of control and will be stopped when the crisis is resolved.
Respite care is designed to give the primary caregiver a short period of relief from caregiving. This is provided in a nursing facility and can be up to 5 days. All costs are covered by hospice. Both continuous and respite care must be approved by Hospice and are designed for short-term periods, in response to a need that has developed.
General inpatient care is the most intensive level of care and is provided in a skilled nursing facility or hospital. The purpose is to provide around the clock skilled nursing to control pain or symptoms that cannot be effectively managed in any other setting. This inpatient care can be delivered in specially designated beds at the Jewish Home or one of our contracted facilities of your choice.
How is hospice different from other types of health care?
- Hospice offers palliative, rather than curative treatment.
- Hospice treats the person, not the disease.
- Hospice emphasizes quality of life, rather than length of life.
- Hospice considers the unit of care to be the patient, family, and caregivers.
- Hospice offers help and support to the patient and family on a 24 hour/day, 7 day/week basis.
Are there costs involved?
Typically not. Medicare and Medi-Cal provide full coverage for hospice, including the care, medications, supplies, and equipment related to the hospice diagnosis. These must be approved and ordered through Skirball Hospice. We become your single source of care for your illness. You may retain your primary physician while you are receiving hospice.
Medications and treatment for conditions unrelated to the hospice diagnosis are not covered by hospice. Medicare and Medi-Cal continue to cover these separately according to their guidelines.
Most private health plans have provisions for hospice care. These are often similar to Medicare. We can assist you with verifying your benefit with your insurance carrier.
Can we get more information without a doctor's referral?
Yes. Just call 877.774.3040 and talk with one of our experienced staff about your situation. We can visit and assess your personal situation and discuss appropriate next steps at your home or while you are still in the hospital. There is no cost or obligation for this information.