Specializing in More Good Days

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About Hospice Care

What is hospice care?

Contrary to what some may believe, hospice is not a place where people go to die. In fact, hospice is not a place at all. Rather, it is a level of care for patients and their families as they face a life-limiting diagnosis.

How can hospice help?

Patients have access to high-quality care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The goal of our services is to help patients maintain an alert, pain-free life so their final days are spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones.

Our team is available to help care for you or a loved one in a home, the home of a family member, at an assisted living facility, a personal care home, a skilled nursing facility or a hospital setting.

When is it time to think about hospice?

A hospice referral can be overwhelming. How do you know when it’s time to begin a conversation with your doctor about hospice care?

    • When a patient or their family calls more frequently with problems.
    • When a patient has multi-system failure or an increase in existing symptoms.
    • When a patient has two or more hospitalizations in the past 12 months due to chronic illness.
    • When a patient is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
    • When a patient or their family has decided to transition from curative procedures to comfort care.
    • When the patient’s family is no longer able to care for the patient without assistance.
    • When you would not be surprised if the patient had less than 12 months to live.

Once you’ve determined it’s time to speak to your doctor about hospice care, Community Hospice will work with you to start conversations about hospice services. Our admissions experts can join you in those conversations or respond rapidly to consultation calls.

To contact a Community Hospice admissions expert, please call 251-943-5015.

Who pays for hospice?

Community Hospice is a Medicare and Medicaid certified provider of care for patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and, based on the medical judgment of their primary care physician. Hospice services are also covered by private insurance companies based on the insured’s coverage as outlined in their policy.

At the time of admission, Community takes on the responsibility of the patient’s medications, oxygen and medical supplies associated with the primary diagnosis.

Medicare – If the patient receives care in the home and has Medicare, Hospice will bill Medicare direct for our services.   If the patient receives care in a skilled nursing facility, Hospice services are billed to Medicare for that care. However, the skilled nursing facility will have separate charges for room and board that will be billed to either Medicaid, a private insurance or to the patient/family for payment.

Medicaid – For a patient who receives care in their home and is on Medicaid, Hospice will bill Medicaid directly.

If a patient receives Hospice care in a skilled nursing facility and has both Medicare and Medicaid, Hospice services will be billed to Medicare, and room and board charges will be billed to Medicaid.

Private Insurance – If a patient has private insurance coverage, Hospice will bill the insurance direct if hospice coverage is a policy benefit.