Hospice offers services to patients who have a terminal illness with a limited life expectancy and whose physician has determined the goal of treatment is palliative care (treating symptoms) versus curative care (treating disease). Hospice patients do not have to be homebound, yet patients must be aware of their condition and reside within the Hospice service area. No patient will be denied Hospice care because of race, color, creed, age, national origin, gender, handicap, religion, genetic makeup, marital status, diagnosis, sexual preference, or because of an inability to pay for Hospice services.
To be admitted to the Hospice program, a patient must meet certain established criteria:
Patient and/or family must understand the nature of Hospice care and be informed of his/her diagnosis and prognosis. The attending physician must approve Hospice care for the patient and the patient must have a short prognosis. The patient must also reside within the Hospice service area.
Hospice usually admits patients within 24 hours after receiving the initial referral and physician’s approval. Most often admissions occur on the same day a referral is made. The Hospice Admission Staff and other members of the Hospice Team are available to offer assistance and answer questions. Upon admission, a Hospice Nurse will arrange an in-home visit to discuss the patient’s individual needs and how Hospice services can help.