Frequently Asked Questions
1When is the time for Hospice and how is it started?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness with approximately six months or less of life can benefit from the comfort of hospice care. Hospice focuses on comfort and symptom management, not curing. Our goal is to make the patient as comfortable possible. The sooner the hospice care begins, the more the patient and family will benefit from hospice services. A patient can be referred to hospice by family members, friends, clergy, or health care professionals. Call 574-213-2727 to schedule a no cost patient assessment. If the person is appropriate for hospice care, the team at Ascent Hospice will coordinate an admission with the primary care physician, family, and other caregivers.
2What are the different levels of Hospice care?
Routine Home Care - This level of care is provided wherever the patient resides, at home, a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living center. Respite Care - Is provided in a hospital or skilled nursing facility giving the patient's primary caregiver a break from primary care duties. General Inpatient Care - When the patient is experiencing acute pain or symptoms that cannot adequately managed in the home, the patient will be admitted to a skilled nursing facility or hospital where short term intensive care is provided. Continuous Care - Hospice nurses and hospice aides provide intensive care for short periods of time to manage a crisis situation in the home.
3What is the role of the physicians?
The Ascent Hospice team works under the supervision of the patient's primary care physician, who may continue to provide primary medical services, and our full-time medical director.
4When should I talk to my physician about hospice?
The patient and the family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy, or friends.
5What if our physician doesn't know about Hospice?
Most physicians are familiar with hospice services. However, if you or your physician would like more information, please contact Ascent Hospice, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization help line, l-800-658-8898. Information on hospice care is also available from the American Cancer Society, The American Association of Retired Persons, and the Social Security Administration.
6Can a Hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to regular medical treatment?
Absolutely! If improvement in condition occurs, the patient will be discharged from Hospice care and returned to their curative care benefit.
7Is the home the only place Hospice care can be delivered?
Hospice care is provided anywhere the patient resides.
8Will medication prevent the patient from being able to talk or affect his/her level of alertness?
Typically not. It is the goal of Ascent Hospice to help the patient be as comfortable and alert as they desire. Through continued consultation with the patient and family, hospice can be very successful in reaching this goal.
9Is Ascent Hospice affiliated with any religious organization?
Hospice care is not affiliated with any religion. While some religious organizations have started hospices, each serves a broad community and does not require patients to adhere to any particular set of beliefs. Ascent Hospice is not affiliated with any religion and works with patients regardless of their religion.
10Is Hospice care covered by insurance?
Hospice coverage is widely available. It is covered 100% by Medicare Part A nationwide, by Medicaid in 42 states (including Indiana), and by many private insurance policies.
11What does Hospice cover?
In general, hospice covers services related to the terminal illness. The coverage includes physician services, nursing care, medical equipment, incontinence supplies, and medications for symptom management and pain relief. It also includes short-term in patient and respite care, hospice aide services, physical and other therapies, as well as social worker/chaplain services and bereavement counseling. For questions about covered services please contact Ascent Hospice.