Hospice is a special kind of service that provides compassionate, supportive care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. The goal is not to administer curative treatment, but to provide comfort and care to patients who wish to live out the remainder of their lives on their own terms. Hospice focuses on preserving the dignity and privacy of the patient while providing relief from the symptoms of their illness.
Care is delivered through regular visits to where you are, whether that means your home, the hospital or another assisted-care facility. Adventist Health hospice workers meet with you, your family and your physician to create a care plan personalized to your unique needs, including physical, mental and spiritual needs.
Through hospice, you will have access to a team of skilled professionals, including:
- Registered nurses
- Hospice medical directors/physicians
- Home health aides
- Trained volunteers
- Therapists (occupational, physical and speech)
- Bereavement coordinators
- Social workers
For our patients and their families, coping with a life-limiting illness can be frightening and even overwhelming. Hospice care can help ease the burden.
We treat you, not just your illness. That means we help minimize your pain and symptoms while maximizing your comfort, quality of life and mental well-being. Hospice is about celebrating life and allowing you and your family to get the most of out every day.
The many benefits of Adventist Health hospice care include:
- Personal care assistance
- Mental and emotional support for patients and families
- Spiritual support
- Nutritional counseling
- Bereavement and grief counseling
- In-residence therapy
- Assistance with accessing community resources and services
- Help with setting up advanced directives
- Respite care for primary caregivers
- Funeral and memorial planning
Although hospice does not provide continuous, around-the-clock care (unless needed for symptom management), we will work closely with the patient’s physician and primary caregiver to tailor visitation schedules and care plans to best suit their needs. Nurses and physicians are available 24 hours a day should a problem arise outside of a regularly scheduled visit.
Eligibility & costs
Who is eligible for hospice services?
To be eligible to apply for hospice care, a patient must have a life-limiting illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. Once they have made the decision to stop curative treatments in favor of pursuing comfort care services, they can be referred for hospice care.
Hospice referrals can come from the patient, their family or their physician. Hospice care can be provided regardless of the age of the patient or the type of end-stage illness they have been diagnosed with.
Is hospice care covered by insurance?
Medicare, Medicaid and MediCal cover hospice services, and many private insurance companies also include coverage for hospice. Types of services covered may vary by provider. See your specific insurance plan for more information. Services unrelated to hospice care or not prescribed/administered by hospice are not covered by hospice benefits.
In some cases, hospice programs can work with patients who may not be able to afford the full cost of their care or whose insurance doesn’t cover all costs. Contact your local Adventist Health hospice care program for more information.
How is hospice care set up?
The patient, their loved ones or their primary care physician can contact your local hospice care service; it is not necessary to have a doctor’s referral for hospice care. Patients will be required to have their physician and a hospice physician both verify that the illness is life-limiting before a care plan can be set up.
Hospice team members will work closely with each patient, their family and their physician to create a customized care plan based on what is best for them. Care plans can be adjusted over time if the needs of the patient change. Additionally, hospice care can be ended at any time, or the patient can choose to go back to curative treatments if desired.
If you are interested in setting up hospice care or would like more information about the services provided in your area, contact your local Adventist Health hospice.