Having the Hospice Conversation
Having a conversation about hospice is never easy. Asking your patients to explain what they understand about their illnesses conﬁrms what they have understood and can be a good way to initiate a dialogue and to gauge their impression of their condition. This can also be an opportunity to talk about their care options.
Hospice emphasizes comfort and quality of life when a disease is terminal, meaning the prognosis for life expectancy is six months or less if the illness runs its normal course.
We understand having the hospice conversation can be difﬁcult. Here are some talking points to help, and a member of our team can have this difﬁcult conversation with your patients and their family members if you prefer. We are here 24/7/365.
Dispel Myths About Hospice
- Many people think that hospice care is only for the last few days of life, when in fact patients can receive it much earlier, as long as the terminal diagnosis is certiﬁed. The most frequent feedback received from families on customer satisfaction surveys is that they wish they had learned of hospice sooner.
- Hospice focuses on quality of life for the time that remains – managing pain and symptoms as well as providing emotional and spiritual support.
- The hospice beneﬁt is available through Medicare and other insurances, and it provides additional support services to help the patient and family cope with the advancing illness.
- The hospice care team can include the patient’s physician. If there are questions about how to bill for this, please ask us.
- Patients can elect hospice care regardless of the presence or absence of an advance directive.
- The hospice beneﬁt covers prescriptions, equipment, and supplies for the terminal and related diagnoses.
- Hospice supports patients and their families with spiritual and emotional care, including 13 months of bereavement support.