Hospice Care Benefits

What is Hospice?

Hospice is designed to help reduce both the physical pain and emotional suffering of patients during their final stages of illness. Contrary to what many people think, hospice is not a physical place. It is a service that comes to wherever people live, whether that is a nursing home, an assisted living facility, a hospital or a home.


At the heart of hospice is the belief that every person has the right to die pain free and with dignity and that families deserve care and support as well. Because everyone’s situation is different, Accord Hospice helps create a personalized care plan, tailored to a loved one’s specific needs.

What Do We Provide?

  • Management of the patient’s pain, discomfort, and other symptoms
  • Medications, equipment, and medical supplies related to the life-limiting illness
  • Patient and family education
  • Physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy as needed
  • Nutritional counseling as needed
  • Short-term inpatient care or continuous care if pain or symptoms become too difficult for family members to manage
  • Respite care as necessary in a contracted facility
  • Bereavement counseling to surviving family and friends

“Who will pay for this?” is a frequently asked question. Hospice is a recognized benefit of both Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, most insurance companies include hospice care as a covered benefit. If you have a private insurance plan, we will work with you and your insurance company to confirm your coverage.

Duration of care is ongoing. There is no defined time limit for receiving hospice care as long as the patient continues to meet the eligibility requirements. The patient can choose to stop receiving hospice care at any time. Sometimes this choice is made when:

  • The patient’s health improves
  • Remission occurs
  • Curative treatment is preferred

Medicare-eligible patients who choose to discontinue hospice care will immediately resume the type of Medicare coverage they had before their care began. If they want to return to hospice care again and are eligible, they may reinstate a hospice plan of care.


Who Qualifies for Hospice?

Patients whose physicians determine that they may have a life limiting illness and who choose comfort care quality for hospice. Those patients include, and are not limited to, those having diagnoses such as:

 • Alzheimer’s
 • ALS
 • Cancer
 • Cardiac Disease
 • Disability
 • Dementia
 • Liver Disease
 • Pulmonary Disease
 • Renal Disease
 • Stroke


The Accord Team

These dedicated professionals are available to help 24 hours a day for patients and families who are coping with advanced illness: 

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Spiritual care coordinators
  • Certified home-health aides
  • Specially trained volunteers
  • Bereavement coordinators
  • Music Therapists
  • Massage Therapists

Accord Hospice offers you:

  • Ongoing communication with the patient's primary care physician
  • Regular visits by a registered nurse to monitor the patient's condition and provide appropriate care
  • 24-hour availability of hospice nurses for phone consultation and emergency visits
  • Social work services for peace, comfort and support
  • Chaplain/Rabbi are on hand to offer spiritual support for patients and their families
  • Trained Volunteers are available as needed to provide companionship and support
  • Medical equipment and supplies for comfort and safety
  • Medications related to the terminal illness for symptom control and pain relief

Hospice Myths & Truths

MYTH: A person has to be at the very end of life before he can receive hospice services.

TRUTH: The criteria for hospice is that a person has a prognosis of 6 months or less to live, a doctor orders hospice services and the patient no longer wants curative treatment. A person with cancer, for example, may have a very active lifestyle with 6 months or less to live. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize and improve patient's symptoms and address other needs. Many patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care.

MYTH: Hospice is that place you go to die.

TRUTH: Hospice is not a place, but a service provided wherever a person lives. Most hospice patients live in their home but care can also be provided in a senior living community, an assisted living facility, or a skilled nursing facility.

MYTH: Hospice is a service to help people die.

TRUTH: Hospice provides palliative care (aka comfort care). The goal is to neither prolong nor shorten life, but simply keep a patient comfortable while they are living. This includes complete symptom management, including pain control, bowel comfort, maintaining breathing, wound care, decreasing anxiety, emotional support, etc.

MYTH: If a patient lives more than 6 months, hospice is over.

TRUTH: There is no way to predict a prognosis exactly. If a person lives more than 6 months, hospice can continue. A person is reevaluated for hospice every 90 days for 6 months then every 60 days indefinitely. As long as the patient still continues to decline, that person can continue with hospice services. A person can also revoke their hospice benefit at any time for any reason (i.e. to receive treatment for disease, etc.) or to transfer to another hospice for any reason.

MYTH: Family has to pay for hospice care.

TRUTH: Hospice is a Medicare Part A covered benefit and is covered by most private insurances and Medicaid. All hospice services required under the Medicare guidelines are paid for. Accord also pays for incontinence supplies, extra physical occupational and speech therapy, and additional services on a case by case basis.

MYTH: A patient has to give up his doctor to be on hospice.

TRUTH: Patients may keep their own physician, who will work closely with the hospice Medical Director to plan and carry out comfort care.

MYTH: Hospice is only for cancer patients.

TRUTH: A large number of hospice patients have congestive heart failure, dementia, chronic lung disease, renal failure or other conditions.

MYTH: Hospice provides 24 hour care.

TRUTH: The hospice team (which includes nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains, and bereavement counselors) visits patients regularly, and are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for support and care if a patient is stable. In that case, Accord Hospice can arrange for additional caregivers paid for by the family if needed.  If a person on hospice has an acute situation (such as severe pain, organ failure, etc.) then care can be provided up to 24 hours per day under the continuous care hospice benefit. This only continues until the patient is no longer in crisis.

MYTH: All hospice programs are the same.

TRUTH: All licensed hospice programs must provide certain services, but the range of support services and programs may differ.

MYTH: Hospice is just for the patient.

TRUTH: Hospice is mandated to provide support to the patient and the family. The patient receives physical, emotional and spiritual support. The family receives emotional support to cope with losing their loved one as well as options for respite when caregiving is too much. Bereavement support for the family continues at least 13 months after the patient dies.

     (847) 780 - 4594

Fax (847) 574-0440

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