Hospice FAQ

What is hospice?
Am I eligible for hospice care?
Where is hospice care provided?
When should we discuss hospice care?
How do we pay for hospice?
Do we need to see a new physician when receiving hospice care?
Is hospice care provided around the clock?
How and when does hospice care begin?
Will we have access to all hospice staff?
Can hospice care really keep patients comfortable?
What is the hospice volunteer’s role?
Do state and federal reviewers inspect and evaluate hospices?
How can I be sure that quality hospice care will be provided?

What is hospice?

Hospice is an approach to care that addresses the specific needs of individuals and families who are facing a life-limiting illness and require end-of-life care. Care focuses on quality rather than quantity of life. The goal is to optimize comfort and dignity during a person’s final days.
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Am I eligible for hospice care?

Many families choose hospice care when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. We recommend discussing care options with your loved one’s physician. If the physician believes that hospice care is the right choice, he or she will provide a referral. AT Home Hospice staff is also available to speak with you about care options, and to coordinate care with your loved one’s physician. If a patient does not have a physician, we can provide a referral. Click here for contact information.
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Where is hospice care provided?

Hospice care can be provided in a variety of health care settings. AT Home Hospice provides services in the patient’s home, allowing the patient to be in a comfortable and familiar setting while receiving state-of-the art care. Our services are available in several counties in Virginia.

Click here to view locations.
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When should we discuss hospice care?

Most people decide to begin hospice care when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or has elected to discontinue treatment for an illness. However, we recommend discussing the possibility of hospice care well in advance.

End-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, but it is best for patients to share their requests before it becomes a concern. Advanced planning helps patients and their families make educated decisions and decreases the likelihood of abrupt or unplanned care situations.

AT Home Hospice can be a resource for you.. You can discuss your options and decisions with the AT Home Hospice Medical Director, admission nurses, social workers or chaplains. We’re always available to answer any questions you may have. Click here for contact information.
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How do we pay for hospice?

Most health plans cover hospice, including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Even when a patient doesn’t have insurance, AT Home Hospice is still an option. We will not turn away any patients who are in need of end-of-life care.
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Do we need to see a new physician when receiving hospice care?

No. We want our patients to feel as comfortable and secure as possible, so we do all we can to allow them to continue seeing their current physician. AT Home Hospice staff will partner with the patient’s primary care doctor to coordinate care.
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Is hospice care provided around the clock?

AT Home Hospice staff works closely with patients, families and physicians to create personalized care plans based on patient needs. Our team of health care professionals will schedule visits and care according to that plan. We also provide all medication, equipment, and supplies related to the hospice diagnosis. Our staff is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies, answer questions and offer support.
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How and when does hospice care begin?

Hospice care can begin as soon as the patient’s doctor makes a formal request or referral. An AT Home Hospice representative will then make an effort to visit the patient within 24 hours of receiving the referral, as long as the visit meets the schedule and needs of the patient, family and/or primary caregiver.
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Will we have access to all hospice staff?

Every hospice patient has access to AT Home Hospice’s interdisciplinary team. This team consists of a medical director, registered nurse, social worker, hospice aide, volunteer and chaplain. The interdisciplinary team writes a care plan with the patient and family that is based on patient and family needs and will be adjusted as the patient’s condition changes.
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Can hospice care really keep patients comfortable?

Our care team receives special training in the treatment of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort and distress. We utilize the most effective tools and resources available to effectively control symptoms and promote well-being. Our care team works together to ensure that we are responsive to the patient’s symptoms and that treatments are updated as the needs of the patient change.
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What is the hospice volunteer’s role?

Hospice volunteers help and support hospice patients and families. They run errands, prepare light meals and stay with patients when caregivers need a break. Many hospice volunteers have had a personal experience with hospice, so they are also able to offer companionship and emotional support.

Hospice volunteers complete an application and interview process, and AT Home Hospice conducts background and reference checks. We want to ensure that each volunteer is well suited for hospice work and can offer the quality of care and service that AT Home Hospice staff is known for. Volunteers
also complete a comprehensive training program that covers key topics such as understanding the hospice philosophy, maintaining confidentiality, developing good listening skills, identifying signs and symptoms of approaching death, coping with loss and grief, and supporting the family during the bereavement period.
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Do state and federal reviewers inspect and evaluate hospices?

Yes. State and federal reviewers inspect hospices periodically. In order to provide care and maintain their operating license, hospice programs must meet state regulatory standards and licensure requirements. Hospices must also comply with federal regulations in order to be approved for reimbursement under Medicare.
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How can I be sure that quality hospice care will be provided?

AT Home Hospice is licensed by the state and certified by Medicare. It is also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), demonstrating an increased level of excellence.
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