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Hospice Frequently Asked Questions


What is hospice?

Hospice is a program of care and support for individuals when a cure is no longer likely. The focus is on the patient’s quality of life. A specially trained team of clinical professionals and experienced caregivers provide care to the patient on an ongoing basis as determined by the patient’s needs. Hospice is designed to care for the patient as well as assist their caregivers.


When is a patient eligible for hospice?

A patient is eligible for hospice when:

  • He/she chooses not to pursue agressive curative treatment or has exhausted all methods in the curative process.

  • The hospice nurse meets with the patient and provides a clinical assessment.

  • The patient’s doctor and hospice agency’s Medical Director determine their eligibility based on a prognosis of six months or less if the patient’s disease runs its normal course.

  • Patient or his/her personal representative elects the hospice benefit.


What services does hospice provide?

Hospice provides: Physician services; nursing care; medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, walkers, medical beds); medical supplies (such as bandages, catheters); medications (all medications related to patient’s diagnosis); social worker services; nurse aid and homemaker services (including bathing, feeding, household chores, companionship); dietary counseling; spiritual counseling; music therapy; massage therapy; bereavement services; volunteers; pharmacist services; physical and occupational therapy; and speech language pathology.


What does hospice cost? Who pays for it?

Medicare pays for 100% of your hospice care under the following conditions:

  • Patient is eligible for the Medicare Part A hospice benefit.

  • Patient’s doctor and hospice agency’s Medical Director determines if the patient is eligible

  • Patient or patient representative chooses to elect the Medicare Hospice Benefit.


Who can I call for more information?

Great Lakes Caring Hospice offers Patient Care Coordinators that the patient, family and caregiver can meet with directly to gain a deeper understanding of hospice. These “informational meetings” are designed to provide in-depth information about hospice and answer all questions. There is no obligation to start hospice services by meeting with a Patient Care Coordinator. You can call Great Lakes Caring directly at 800-379-1600 to schedule a meeting with a Patient Care Coordinator to discuss hospice for you or a loved one.