Is it Time For Hospice?

When is the best time to ask for Hospice?
There isn't a single specific point in an illness when a person should ask about hospice and palliative care; it very much depends on the individual. However, if you are currently benefiting from treatments intended to cure your illness it's not time for hospice.
The following are signs that you may want to explore options with hospice care: 
  • You've made multiple trips to the emergency room, your condition has been stabilized, but your illness continues to progress significantly, affecting your quality of life.
  • You've been admitted to the hospital several times within the last year with the same or worsening symptoms.
  • You wish to remain at home, rather than spend time in the hospital. You have decided to stop receiving treatments.
What is the Eligibility of Care?
  • Physician order for TMC Hospice
  • A patient has a life-limiting diagnosis and life expectancy of about six months or less. It doesn’t have to be a cancer diagnosis; it can be any disease in its last stages (end-stage diseases, such cardiac, renal, Alzheimer's, etc).
  • A patient isn't receiving curative treatment for the terminal illness (chemo, experimental drugs).
  • The patient's physician is willing to certify that the patient is terminally ill.
What are the advantages of Hospice?
Interdisciplinary Care Team: The advantages of hospice include comprehensive, interdisciplinary care from a team of professionals and volunteers. This care involves physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains, and trained hospice volunteers to meet the needs of the patient and their caregivers.
24 Hour Care Availability: Care is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. Patients and their caregivers always have access to hospice professionals when they need it.
Cost Reduction: Choosing a hospice usually means a reduction in out-of-pocket expenses for medications, durable medical equipment and medical supplies. 
When a patient is truly ready for comfort care, choosing hospice care means avoiding unwanted hospitalizations and medical treatments and procedures. The hospice team aims to support the patients and caregiver’s wishes while helping them achieve their goals for care.
No Obligation to Enroll: There is no obligation to enroll and no charge for us to answer a question or even to make an informational visit. There is absolutely nothing to lose by calling (520) 324-2438.
We are available to talk with any patient and family who are struggling with making decisions in advanced diseases, to provide support, help them identify the questions, find answers and navigate healthcare to make decisions based on accurate information that matches their values and beliefs.
Additional Information: Many patients aren't referred to hospice until they are very close to death, missing out on much of what hospice has to offer. Misconceptions about hospice and lack of awareness of benefits and services also contribute to underutilization.
Hospice can be revoked at any time, so if you were on hospice and decided to seek more aggressive care, you could call the hospice agency to discontinue care.
Cost of hospice services are reimbursed by Medicare and most private insurance providers. Patients must have Part A coverage for Medicare. Most private insurers provide coverage, though it might not be specifically mentioned in their policies. Not all services are covered by insurance, but as part of Southern Arizona’s community nonprofit hospital, TMC Hospice makes every effort to provide needed care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. TMC Hospice benefits from the efforts of the TMC Foundation and its designated Hospice Fund.
Please call (520) 324-2438 for more information on TMC Hospice Services.