MYTH: Hospice is a place where the terminally ill go to die.
FACT: Hospice is not a place. It is a type of care. More than 97 percent of hospice services provided in 2011 in the U.S. were based in the patient's home or place of residence, according ot the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Care provided in the home allows families to be together when they need it most, sharing the final days in peace, comfort and dignity.
MYTH: Hospice only serves persons diagnosed with cancer.
FACT: In 2011, only 38 percent of patients admitted to hospice agencies had conditions related to cancer, reported the NHPCO. Non-cancer diagnoses attributed to 62 percent of admissions.
MYTH: Hospice services are very expensive. I can't afford hospice.
FACT: Medicare and Medicaid cover 100% of hospice costs. For those ineligible for these programs, most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans cover hospice care. Hospice will provide services whether a patient can pay or not. All hospice visits and hospice diagnosis based medicines and equipment are covered as part of hospice services.
MYTH: Once a patient elects hospice care, he or she can no longer return to traditional medical treatment.
FACT: Patients always have the right to change back to traditional care at any time, for any reason.
MYTH: Hospice means giving up hope.
FACT: When faced with a terminal illness, many patients and family members tend to dwell on the impending loss of life rather than making the most of the life that remains. Hospice helps patients reclaim the spirit of life. It helps them understand that even though death can lead to sadness, anger and pain, it can also lead to opportunities for reminiscing, laughter, reunion and hope that hospice will enable a person to live life to the fullest.
MYTH: To be eligible for hospice care, a patient must already be bedridden.
FACT: Hospice care is appropriate at the time of the terminal prognosis. Many patients served through hospice continue to lead productive and rewarding lives. Together, the patient, family and physician determine when hospice services should begin.
MYTH: Once a patient elects hospice, he or she can no longer receive care from the primary care physician.
FACT: Hospice works closely with the primary care physician and considers the continuation of the patient-physician relationship to be of the highest priority.
For more information about Heyman HospiceCare at Floyd, including questions about referrals and services provided, call 706.509.3200 or 800.324.1078.