Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice Care
Choosing to enter hospice care at home is a challenging decision for the entire family. Hospice should bring a higher level of comfort and ease to the family during end-of-life-care. Find out the answers to many questions families have about home hospice care.
+− Does choosing hospice mean giving up?
Hospice care focuses on living as fully as possible up until the end of life by managing symptoms such as pain. With hospice the focus of care changes from curing the illness to symptomatic care, providing the utmost comfort.
+− How long can hospice care be provided?
Patients and families can receive hospice care for 6 months or longer depending on the course of the illness.
+− How much will hospice services cost?
Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice, and most insurance plans include hospice coverage.
+− Where can hospice services be provided?
We can provide hospice care at home or wherever the person is residing, whether it is a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility.
+− What are the different levels of hospice care?
- Routine Care: provides intermittent hospice care wherever the patient is residing. This includes patients primary residence, nursing facility, or an assisted living facility.
- Respite Care: provides in patient care to assist the caregivers with a much needed time of rest.
- Continuous Care: short-term crisis management of pain or symptoms in the patients home.
- General inpatient Care: provides short-term crisis management of pain or symptoms in an inpatient unit during the hospice stay.
+− What will AmeraCare Family Hospice provide?
- Medical supplies, such as bandages, adult briefs, or catheters.
- Medications for pain and symptom management of the terminal diagnosis.
- Equipment such as walkers, hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen supplies, and much more equipment to maintain a high level of comfort.
- Services from an interdisciplinary team specializing in end-of-life care.
- Physician services related to the terminal illness.
- Regular home care visits by a nurse.
- Visits by a certified nursing assistant to assist with activities of daily living.
- Chaplain services for the patient and the family.
- Social work and counseling services.
- Bereavement counseling.
+− Is the hospice a We Honor Veterans Partner?
We Honor Veterans Partners have demonstrated their commitment to improving the care they provide to Veterans and their family members. Yes - AmeraCare is a We Honor Veterans Partner. AmeraCare Family Hospice is a preferred provider for home hospice services with the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Administration (SELAVA). We work closely with each of the providers in the SELAVA system.
+− What is AmeraCare Family Hospice’s governance structure?
ACFH is a for-profit organization with a non-profit foundation.
+− How quickly can the intake/admissions staff begin the admissions process? Is someone available at night or on weekends?
If you are referred to hospice late in the day or on the weekend, a hospice's ability to start services quickly can be very important.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to begin the admissions process. Services can begin immediately after the hospice consent forms are completed and the hospice order has been received from the doctor.
+− What screening or training do the hospice volunteers receive before they are placed with patients and families?
All of our awesome volunteers receive 16 hours of hospice and bereavement orientation before meeting our patients. Our volunteers also receive continuing education through regular inservices, and they are trained specifically on the needs of hospice patients and caregivers.
+− How many patients at any one time are assigned to each hospice staff member who will be caring for the patient?
Patients are assigned based on language preference and acuity.
+− How long has AmeraCare Family Hospice been operating in the community?
We have been operating in the community for over 10 years.
+− Which “extra” services does AmeraCare Family Hospice offer?
All hospices provide expert medical care, emotional and spiritual care, medicines, medical supplies and equipment, volunteers, and grief support after the death of a loved one. In addition to these services, some hospices offer specialized programs for children, people with specific diseases, "pre-hospice" care for individuals not yet medically-ready for hospice care, and other "extra" services that may benefit your family.
AmeraCare Home Health has created the Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program to extend holistic, palliative care to those not quite ready for hospice. ACFH has created the Lenora Talley Foundation to assist those in the community facing serious illness.
+− How does it work if I need to go to a hospital or nursing home?
Not all hospice providers are contracted with every local hospital or nursing homes. It’s important to find out if your preferred hospital or nursing home is contracted so your hospice provider can continue to provide your hospice services in this different setting.
We contract with several inpatient hospice facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. ACFH is happy to work with any facility necessary during the course of caring for its patients.
+− Will staff come to the home if there is a crisis at any time of the day or night and on weekends? Who is available to make the home visit (nurses, doctors, social workers, and chaplains)?
Yes - All ACFH staff, as well as access to pharmacy and durable medical equipment, is available by phone and in person 24 hours a day, seven days a week should a crisis arise.
+− Are volunteers available to help home hospice patients? If so what services can they provide, and how quickly can they be available?
Volunteers can provide a variety of services including friendly visits, light household chores, running errands, personal care, and so on. Our awesome volunteers are assigned according to need. Please contact us to have a volunteer assigned to your case.
+− Are all clinical staff (physicians, nurses, and social workers) certified or credentialed in hospice and palliative care?
There are several credentials that hospice professionals can achieve based on their knowledge of hospice or palliative care as well as their educational experience. Our medical director is certified in Hospice and Palliative care and is available for consultation 24/7.
+− Does AmeraCare Family Hospice own or operate a care facility to provide home-like care in a hospice residence, hospital, or nursing home?
We work with several inpatient hospice facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. We are happy to work with any facility necessary during the course of caring for our patients. ACFH is a preferred provider for Hospice Foundation of the South, and the Richard Muprhy Hospice House.
+− Does AmeraCare Family Hospice conduct a family evaluation survey?
It is not unusual for a hospice to ask family members to complete a brief evaluation of their services after the death of a loved one.
One month following the loss of one of our home hospice patients, we conduct a family evaluation survey. The survey allows the family to rate our service as a hospice care provider. These surveys are evaluated annually as part of ACFHs Quality Assurance/ Performance Improvement. Let us know if you would like to see our most recent scores and ratings!
+− Is AmeraCare Family Hospice accredited by a national organization?
Several organizations can accredit hospice service providers, surveying them to ensure they meet quality standards. Hospices are not required to be accredited but accreditation can be a reflection of its commitment to quality.
Yes - ACFH is accredited by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.