Q&A About Hospice

What is hospice care?
Who is eligible for hospice?
What are the benefits of Hospice?
Isn't hospice just for cancer patients?
Doesn't hospice mean giving up hope?
What kind of services do you provide?
Is the home the only place hospice care can be delivered?
Who pays for hospice?
Do I need a physician referral?
Is Preferred Hospice associated with a religious group?
What happens if the patient's condition improves?
When is it time to call Preferred Hospice?
What makes Preferred Hospice special?

What is hospice care?

Hospice is "comfort care" offered to terminally ill patients, empowering them to make choices regarding their final months. An interdisciplinary team, under the direction of a physician, delivers care and support inside the patient’s home or other facility in which th patient resides. Our team focuses on providing pain/symptom management, as well as support for the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient and his/her loved ones.

Who is eligible for hospice?

To be eligible for Preferred Hospice services, a patient or their representative must be aware of the illness and prognosis and agree to comfort care rather than curative treatment. The hospice physician, along with the attending physician, agrees on a prognosis of approximately six months or less (if the disease were to follow its natural course). With a physician’s "order," Preferred Hospice can provide an onsite patient evaluation to assist in determining whether hospice services are appropriate. For more information about eligibility, ask your doctor or contact Preferred Hospice.

What are the benefits of Hospice?

Today, more than ever before, many Americans are facing their own mortality head on. With advancement in modern medicine it is necessary that we evaluate how aggressive we wish our treatment to be.

Americans diagnosed with life limiting illness have a variety of options available to them. For this reason many Americans have taken control of their Healthcare by expressing their wishes in Living Wills. Some Americans have decided to decline curative treatment in the event of a life limiting illness.

Hospice is designed to support the choice of individuals who have decided to manage end of life for themselves. Curative treatment can sometimes have debilitating side effects itself. Hospice allows patients to experience the disease in its normal course while addressing symptoms as they arise.

The benefits of hospice are many, including allowing the patient to remain in the home with family and friends. Pain management is a large part of the Hospice focus. Hospice chaplains support patients who rely of spiritual faith. Social Workers are available to assist with resource management. Most equipment and medications related to the patient's terminal illness is paid by the Hospice. Much of the support the Hospice offers is directed at the survivors of the patient. For this reason Preferred Hospice offers open-ended bereavement for families.

If you have questions about the benefits of Hospice please call Preferred Hospice at 417-581-4YOU (4968).

Isn't hospice just for cancer patients?

No. Hospices can attend to patients with any terminal diagnosis.

Doesn't hospice mean giving up hope?

Definitely not. Preferred Hospice recognizes that dying is a natural part of life. Hospice helps patients live their remaining life to the fullest, by managing pain and symptoms, while allowing them to remain with their families in the comfort of their homes. According to a study done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 70% of Americans would prefer their end-of-life care be provided at home.

What kind of services do you provide?

Preferred Hospice offers a comprehensive range of services including:

  • Physcian directed medical care
  • 24-hour, on-call physicians
  • Medications, medical equipment and supplies related to the primary diagnosis
  • Education for the patient and his/her loved ones
  • Registered nurse care coordination and intermittent care in residence
  • Routine visits by licensed practical nurse and home health aide
  • Individualized plan of care driven by input from the patient and his/her loved ones
  • Social work and counseling
  • Dietary counseling
  • Bereavement support
  • Spiritual support

Is the home the only place hospice care can be delivered?

No. Although most hospice services are delivered at home, not all patients live in a private residence. Hospice services can also be provided in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice centers, hospitals, prisons or homeless shelters.

Who pays for hospice?

Hospice is covered by Medicare, private insurance or private funds. An entitlement under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicare generally pays 100% of medications, equipment, supplies and Hospice team services associated with the primary diagnosis. There is no deductible.

Do I need a physician referral?

Referrals may be initiated by a medical professional, friend, family member or patient by calling your local Preferred Hospice office. A nurse will consult with the primary physician, obtain an "order" for further evaluation, and a team member will communicate with the patient and/or loved ones to assess whether hospice is appropriate and desired.

Is Preferred Hospice associated with a religious group?

No. Preferred Hospice is not associated with a particular religious group or church. In offering spiritual support, we honor different faith backgrounds and provide spiritual care and counseling to patients of all beliefs.

What happens if the patient's condition improves?

Our interdisciplinary team evaluates the patient's condition periodically. If we determine that the patient's condition is no longer terminal or is stable, we may recommend that the patient be discharged from hospice. Of course, the patient may revoke the hospice election at any time. If a patient’s condition should change at any time, they can be readmitted.

When is it time to call Preferred Hospice?

Now. If you have end-of-life questions for yourself or someone you love, getting answers to your questions now will make it easier to make informed decisions in the future. Our wide range of support services and educational programs are available to patients, family members and the community at all stages of life. When asked, most families who have faced terminal illness say they wish they’d called hospice sooner. Contact Preferred Hospice at any time to speak to us about how we can be of service.

What makes Preferred Hospice special?

Preferred Hospice is a Missouri-based hospice that supports the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a patient. Our team is dedicated to helping patients experience the end of life in a way that honors who they are and what they believe.

Our specialized programs are what make Preferred Hospice unique. Our social workers provide caregivers with specialized training and Reflexology/Aromatherapy Kits to help relieve a patient’s stress. Bereavement Counselors provide comfort to patients and family members with our "My Friend, I Care" booklet. And our volunteer coordinators work one-on-one with patients as they complete a personal journal of their thoughts and wishes.

The physicians and nurses with Preferred Hospice go through extensive training. All staff is certified through EPEC (Educating Providers on End-of-life Care) and EDNA (End-of-life Education for Nurse Assistants). Staff members also participate in In-Service Training through the Community Alliance for Compassionate Care at End of Life.