Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for hospice?
Hospice offers services to patients who have a life limiting illness 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.
*Physician’s Choice Hospice will not discriminate due to 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. Every patient will be treated with the highest regard for their integrity.
To be admitted to Physician’s Choice Hospice, a patient must meet certain established medical 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. The patient must also reside within the Hospice service area.
Hospice usually admits patients within hours after receiving the initial referral and physician's approval. Often, admission evaluations by a nurse will occur within 2 hours of all documentation being signed. 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.
Why choose hospice?
When someone has been given a life limiting diagnosis that is incurable, they can find themselves in the revolving doors of the hospital. As their condition progresses, they are often readmitted for disease complications and worsening conditions. It is not uncommon for a patient to literally get lost in the healthcare system. Hospice is another ‘care alternative’ that will focus on comfort and quality of life instead of on-going medical testing and curative treatment. Hospice is not ‘giving up’, it truly is a change in focus of the patient care.
Physician’s Choice Hospice is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients can receive professional medical, emotional, and spiritual support in the comfort of their home, whether that is a private residence, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home.
Hospice promises to affirm the power of choice and preserve a quality of life in every way possible. We accomplish this by including family, the care team, the patient, and physician in the care plan. Communication and follow through with family is a high priority and we value their input.
Hospice promises to address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families, with a deep respect for the patient’s wishes at the heart of it all. Hospice promises to be there, to help and to care.
In its earliest origins, the word ‘Hospice’ meant a place of shelter for travelers on a difficult journey. We have come a long way, but for patients, families and friends faced with a life limiting illness, Hospice means a place to turn and a team of people to be by your side. One of the choices Hospice provides is the ability for a patient with a life-limiting illness to stay at home surrounded by family and friends, in whatever setting they call ‘home’.
Making no attempt to hasten or delay death, Hospice focuses on controlling the patient’s pain and symptoms, while helping family and friends cope with the stress and emotions their loved one’s illness can bring.
How does hospice work?
Let's examine what Hospice does and who it helps. Hospice provides emotional, physical and spiritual support for patients, family and friends faced with a life-limiting or terminal illness. Hospice services most often enable a patient to be at home or in an inpatient facility surrounded by family and friends.
How Hospice Can Help: Four Levels of Care
Routine Home Care
Routine Home Care is provided in the residential setting, usually a patient’s home or a long-term care facility, though care could be provided in a group home or any other residential setting. Hospice services are provided on an intermittent basis according to the needs, frequency and intensity identified in the Plan of Care.
Inpatient Care designed for short-term, acute needs is provided in an inpatient unit, hospital or skilled nursing facility when a patient’s symptoms cannot be managed in the residential setting with the “routine home care” level of care.
Respite Care provides short-term relief to a patient’s primary caregivers by transferring the patient to a Hospice inpatient unit, hospital or skilled facility for up to five days.
Continuous Care is provided in a residential setting when the patient is in crisis and symptoms cannot be managed with the routine home care level of care. This level of continuous care may be initiated to prevent transfer to an inpatient setting.
Who pays for hospice?
Hospice is most often funded 100% by Medicare or Private Insurance. Patients who qualify and are approved for Oklahoma Advantage may have their care covered under this benefit. Veteran Administration benefits may cover hospice services. Uninsured patients are provided comprehensive Hospice services by Physician’s Choice Hospice without discrimination. No one ever pays out of pocket for hospice care from Physician’s Choice Hospice.
Private Insurance Benefits
Physician’s Choice Hospice is a preferred provider for most HMOs and insurance companies in Oklahoma. Physician’s Choice Hospice charges no co-payments or deductibles, and we will bill Medicare directly for everything that is covered under the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
Hospice is available as a benefit under Medicare (Part A). Medicare beneficiaries who choose Hospice receive non-curative medical support and psychosocial services to help cope with both the symptoms of the terminal disease, as well as the emotional and spiritual aspects that a life-limiting illness can bring. Patients entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A can choose Hospice care when they meet the Hospice admission criteria; this is generally when the patient’s doctor communicates that the patient prognosis is likely limited to months, not years. Medical needs unrelated to the Hospice diagnosis continue to be covered under Standard Medicare Benefits. The Hospice Benefit covers all fees for the services, plus the cost of all medications, medical equipment, ancillary therapies and supplies related to the symptom management of the Hospice diagnosis.
What are covered services?
All reasonable and necessary medical support for the management of a terminal illness are covered including the following PCH services:
Physician Services provided by the PCH Medical Director (Physician)
Certified Nurse Aide Services
Medical Social Services
Medical Supplies & Equipment
Short-Term Inpatient Care
Physical, Occupational, Speech, & Respiratory Therapy
Spiritual Support Services
Bereavement Support Services
Medications For Pain/Symptom Mgmt.
Respite Care for Caregivers