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Hospice Questions and Answers

We understand this is a difficult time and we are here to help.

We have Wings Over Texas Hospice Nurses on call 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.

What is hospice?

Hospice provides comfort and care. Hospice is a health care benefit for people with life-limiting illnesses. Hospice does not provide aggressive or curative care related to the life-limiting illness. It is provided in the individual’s place of residence by a team that consists of nurses, social workers, hospice aides, volunteers, spiritual, bereavement and dietary counselors and other therapists (physical, occupational and speech) as needed under the direction of a physician. If the person does not have a primary physician, the medical director of Wings Over Texas Hospice will fulfill that role. The goal of hospice care is to control pain and other symptoms, rather than to cure the person’s illness. Hospice provides support for the person who is ill as well as his or her loved ones.

Who chooses the hospice provider?

Choosing to go on hospice and who to use as a hospice provider are personal decisions. Many patients consult with family, and medical providers.

Does hospice make death come sooner?

No, hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process but does nothing to either speed up or slow down the dying process.

What hospice services are covered under the Medicare Hospice Benefit?

Services Covered Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit (if included in the plan of care) Services Not Covered Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit • Physician Services • Nursing Care • Hospice aide/homemaker • Spiritual Counseling • Bereavement Counseling • Medical Social Services • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy • Dietary counseling • Volunteer services • Durable Medical Equipment • Medical Supplies • Medications for symptom management and pain relief of the terminal illness and related conditions (must be pre-approved by hospice) • Short-term inpatient care for pain and symptom control • Short-term respite care

What does a hospice aide do?

The hospice aide follows a plan of care developed by the RN Case Manager. Hospice Aide responsibilities may include: 1. Patient Bathing and Hygiene Hair and Nail Care 2. Assisting with Ambulation and Transfers 3. Dressing 4. Assisting with elimination 5. Linen Change 6. Range of Motion 7. Delivering supplies 8. Light Meal Preparation for the patient 9. Light housekeeping pertaining to the patient

Who is eligible for hospice?

Anyone with a life-limiting or terminal diagnosis and a prognosis of 6 months or less. Patients may not pursue life-prolonging, or curative treatments on hospice.

Does hospice continue after the patient dies?

Yes, our bereavement program offers spiritual and emotional support to family members after the death of their loved one for 13 months. The amount of contact is determined by the needs and wishes of the patient’s family.

What services are not covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit?

Medicare Hospice Benefits do not cover treatment for the terminal illness which is not for palliative symptom management and is not within the hospice plan of care. • Care provided by another hospice that was not arranged by the patient’s hospice • Ambulance transportation not included in the plan of care • Medications that are not related to the terminal illness • Visits to the emergency department without prior approval or arrangements by hospice • Inpatient care at non-contracted facilities • Sitter services or hired caregivers • Admission to the hospital without prior approval or arrangements by hospice • Lab studies, medical testing and/or any treatments not indicated

What is the Hospice CAHPS Honors Elite Award ?

Awarded by HEALTHCAREfirst, a leading provider of CAHPS and bereavement survey programs for home health and hospice agencies. This prestigious annual review recognizes agencies that continuously caregiver experiences. It acknowledges the highest performing agencies by analyzing the performance of the Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey satisfaction and quality measures. To be considered for the Hospice CAHPS Honors Award, the hospice agency must have scored above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on the Hospice CAHPS Willingness to Recommend question. If that criteria is met, performance is evaluated utilizing a set of 23 additional quality indicator measures. These scores are then compared on a question-byquestion basis to a national performance score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS database. Special recognition, Honors Elite, is awarded to those hospices that score above the national performance score on 100%, or all twenty four, of the evaluated questions.

Do I need special equipment if I receive hospice care at home?

You may need special equipment. But you don't have to worry. You will have a case manager who will work with you upon admission to assess your needs and help with obtaining and necessary medical equipment. They will continue to reassess your needs throughout the continuum of care.

Who pays for hospice?

Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and private insurance for most plans. We will work with you to help get services covered.

How do you create the plan of care?

Wings Over Texas Hospice team develops an individualized plan of care, with your input. The plan of care is based upon admission information, identified problems, needs and goals, physician orders for medications, treatments and care, timeframes, your environment and your personal wishes whenever possible. Effective pain management and nutritional support are important parts of your treatment. The plan of care includes five basic areas: • Physical care • Psychosocial needs • Spiritual needs • Bereavement care • Personal care and comfort The plan is reviewed and updated as needed, based on your changing needs. All medical information will be provided to assist you in participating in your plan of care. You must seek preapproval from Wings Over Texas Hospice for all treatments and services not included in the hospice plan of care. Medication and treatments are ordered by and given under the general supervision of your attending physician. With you help, we will create an updated list of your medications on admission. We will compare this list to the medications ordered by the physician. Our staff will continue to compare the list to the medications that are ordered, administered or dispensed to you while under our care so any discrepancies (such as omissions, duplications, potential interactions) can be resolved. Your Wings Over Texas Hospice nurse will also review with you what medications will be paid for by your insurance (i.e. Medicare) benefit.

What are the benefit differences between home health and hospice? 

Hospice is end-of-life care. Home health treats acute illness or injury.  

What are some specific diagnoses and indicators of hospice eligibility?

The patient has chosen to stop life-prolonging, or curative treatments.

Wings Over Texas Hospice

Hico Office

Cleburne Office

205 S. Caddo St. Ste. 100  

Cleburne, TX. 76031

106 West 1st Street
Hico, TX. 76457

Fax: 877-738-0467

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