Myth v. Fact

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We at Custom Hospice believe hospice affirms life. Hospice recognizes dying as a process and our care provides comfort rather than cure. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death.

Myth: You cannot go to the hospital while under hospice care.

Truth: While hospice strives to manage pain and other uncomfortable symptoms outside of the hospital setting, a hospice patient always has the choice of whether or not to go to the hospital. The Medicare Hospice Benefit covers short-term general inpatient care in the hospital when a patient’s symptoms can no longer be managed in another care setting.

Myth: Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do.

Truth: Hospice is not a place but a philosophy of care providing medical, emotional, and spiritual care focusing on comfort and quality of life as well as family centered care.

Myth: Hospice is only for the last days of life.

Truth: Hospice patients and families can receive care for six months or longer, depending on the course of the illness.  Hospice care is most beneficial when there is sufficient time to manage symptoms and establish a trusting relationship.

Myth: Choosing hospice means giving up hope.

Truth: Hospice provides comfort and quality of life when the hope for cure is no longer possible. The hope for living each day to the fullest becomes the focus.

Myth: Good care at end of life is very expensive.

Truth: The Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefits cover services at 100%, so there is no cost to the patient.

Myth: You can’t keep your own doctor if you enter hospice.

Truth: Hospice physicians work closely with your doctor to determine a plan of care and you are always able to keep your own doctor unless your doctor requests not to follow you on hospice.

Myth: Choosing hospice means giving up all medical treatment.

Truth: The reality is that hospice places the patient and family at the center of the care-planning process and provides high-quality pain management and symptom control.

Myth: Hospice only cares for patients in their homes.

Truth: Most patients choose to die at home surrounded by their loved ones.  Custom Hospice cares for patients wherever they call home, including long-term skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. The philosophy of palliative care is to allow the patient the right to die wherever they desire.

Myth: Hospice is just for the elderly.

Truth: Hospice serves anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age.

Myth: Patients and families must accept impending death to receive hospice care.

Truth: In order to receive hospice, the patient must be eligible and have an understanding that hospice focuses on comfort care (palliative) not cure. Hospice helps patients and families deal with what is happening to them on their own terms and in their own time frame. 

Myth: Families are not able to care for people with terminal illnesses.

Truth: Hospice involves families and offers professional support and training to help them care for their loved ones.

Myth: Hospice care starts when someone has only a few days left.

Truth: Hospice care is about living life as fully as possible. The focus of hospice palliative care starts at the time of diagnosis or acute phase of the terminal illness and extends beyond the patient’s death to the family during bereavement. 

Myth: A DNR must be signed to have hospice care

Truth: A patient can receive hospice without having signed a DNR. The hospice regulation actually says that hospices cannot discriminate against patients because of any advance directive choices.

Myth: Do I have to wait for my doctor to bring up hospice

Truth: Patients can choose for us to meet with them and discuss the benefit of hospice at any time. We work with each patient’s physician to identify each patient’s individual needs. We will call your physician at your request to obtain an order.

Myth: Hospice is only for cancer patients

Truth: Hospice care is provided for any patient that has a life-limiting illness that is no longer responding to curative treatment and is medically eligible under the Medicare Regulation.