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About UsSearchServicesSite MapContact UsEventsAdditional ServicesWhat is Hospice?

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient’s loved ones as well.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.

 

How Does Hospice Work?

Typically, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and when appropriate, help make decisions for the patient. Members of the hospice team make regular visits to assess the patient and provide care and services. Hospice staff are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

How Hospice Differs From Other Types of care

 

Hospice offers palliative, rather than curative treatment. Under the direction of a physician, generally your own primary physician, hospice uses state of the art methods of pain and symptom control that enable the patient to live as fully and comfortably as possible.

 

Hospice treats the person, not the disease. The hospice team is made up of professionals who address the medical, spiritual and emotional needs of the patient and loved ones.

 

Hospice emphasizes quality, rather than length of life. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death because it affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice stresses human values that go beyond the physical needs of the patient.

 

Hospice considers the entire family, not just the patient in providing care. Patients and their loved ones make the decisions. Bereavement counseling is provided to the family after the death of their loved one.

WHEN TO REFER PATIENTS TO HOSPICE

When a patient has a life expectancy of weeks to months vs. years. Medicare (and some other insurers) require certification that a patient has a “life expectancy of 6 months or less if the disease runs its normal course.”

The patient with Medicare is not limited to 6 months of benefits. Certification does not guarantee that a patient could not possibly live longer than 6 months. Certification does confirm a reasonable medical probability. If a patient is discharged from Hospice because life expectancy increases, Hospice services are still available later. Patients may still receive Hospice care—even if they don’t use their Medicare or other insurance benefit to pay for Hospice when they can benefit from pain management, symptom control, & emotional and family support. They choose to use insurance benefits to pay for services not generally provided by hospice - therapies offered to prolong life, not to control current symptoms, tests for disease surveillance, not diagnosis of current symptoms, ??skilled care, in an extended care facility, following hospitalization. They choose to pay for Hospice care on a sliding scale fee basis.

Call us to refer a patient to Hospice or to schedule a private and confidential meeting for patients & families to learn more about Hospice. 

Member: The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, The National Association of Home Care and Hospice, The American Pain Society, AARP Grief and Loss Program

St. Croix 340.772.CARE (2273)            St. Thomas – St. John 340.714.CARE (2273)


 

 
 
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