Pain and Palliative Care

Hospice Care

What is Hospice?

  • Hospice is a type of medical care that is offered to an individual who is in the late stages of a terminal illness

  • Disease modifying or curative treatments are felt to be no longer helpful or beneficial and the patient and physician have decided to focus care on supporting quality of life and symptom management.

  • To qualify for hospice, a patient needs to have a life limiting illness or life threatening illness

  • Treatments offered to patients on hospice care are based on the goal of maximizing quality of life

  • Hospice care can be offered in many settings in the community: home, nursing home, inpatient hospice setting

  • The hospice team consists of a physician, nurses, nurse’s aide, social worker, spiritual care, volunteers whom collaborate with your own physicians

  • The goal of hospice is to work aggressively to manage symptoms of end of life and disease while maintain the person in the place they call "home" or where they would like to spend the remainder of their life.

  • Hospice care also assists the caregivers and family by offering support, and education while caring for their loved one.

  • Counseling and bereavement services are available through hospice to help support caregivers and family's (including children) with the impending death of their loved one.

How does it work?

  • Nurses from the hospice team will visit the patient as often as their needs require.

  • 24/7 availability via phone or by nursing visit is available if needed beyond the normal nursing visit to assist with urgent needs.

  • Home equipment such as hospital bed, table, bathroom equipment, oxygen, etc. and all medications focused on treating comfort are covered under hospice care benefit.

  • Hospice care is covered under the Medicare benefit and most private insurances. Your local hospice can assist you to look into your hospice benefit if you have questions.

  • If you have questions about hospice care, please ask your physician, social worker, palliative care team, or feel free to contact your local hospice for an information session.

NOTE: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader.

This page last updated on 06/26/2017

You are now leaving the NIH Clinical Center website.

This external link is provided for your convenience to offer additional information. The NIH Clinical Center is not responsible for the availability, content or accuracy of this external site.

The NIH Clinical Center does not endorse, authorize or guarantee the sponsors, information, products or services described or offered at this external site. You will be subject to the destination site’s privacy policy if you follow this link.

More information about the NIH Clinical Center Privacy and Disclaimer policy is available at http://www.cc.nih.gov/disclaimers.html