FAQS


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Hospice?
2. How hospice works?
3. What makes hospice different?
4. What hospice is not?
5. Who is eligible for hospice care?
6. Common diagnosis eligible for hospice?
7. Does hospice mean giving up?
8. What if I outlive my 6 month prognosis?
9. How to pay for hospice care?
10. What services are included?
11. What is the admission process like?
12. Is Hospice just for the patient?
13. Who is sent to my home?
14. How should I handle concerns about patient care and safety?
15. Do I get to keep my personal doctor?
 

What is a Hospice?

From: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Hospice began as a volunteer-driven, grassroots movement in the US in the late 1970s. Today, hospice is an integral part of the healthcare landscape that cares for more than 1.5 million patients every year(NHPCO, 2011).

Death can be peaceful, beautiful, painless, and worry free. Just like how we plan life, we can also plan our death. We must come to terms to the fact that nobody lives forever, and when it's time to go, our bodies will tell us. 

A hospice provides a special service that would help ease you and your loved ones through that transition towards the final chapter of our lives, and just like a book or a movie, most people would hope for a good ending; a place of love, warmth, comfort, compassion, and dignity like a beautiful sunset. By employing our hospice services, you will make sure that you will not be alone in a very difficult period of your life and we would be there to see you and your family's needs throughout the time that you are alive and up to one year after your death.

Hospice:

  • Treats the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those they serve.

  • Provides care in the patient's home, or in a home-like setting.

  • Supports family and caregivers by offering counseling, training, and information.

  • Helps patients live pain-free and as comfortable as possible to ensure the best possible quality of life.

  • Provides supplies, medicines, and equipment needed to maintain quality of life.

  • Hospice offers choices and honors the wishes of the patient.

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How Hospice Works?

From: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Feel free to contact us using the Contact Us Form if you have any questions regarding hospice care.

Hospice offers high quality, compassionate care to persons who can no longer benefit from curative treatment. The typical hospice patient has a life expectancy of six months or less. You do not have to be actively dying in order to receive hospice care. Hospice can be better utilized when hospice care is started early, when the patient is more capable in making decisions.

Services are provided by a team of trained professionals that include: Physicians, Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers, Therapists, Chaplains, Aides, and Volunteers. The patient is usually referred to the hospice by their primary physician but referrals can also be made by family members, friends, clergy, or health professionals.

Hospice is a 100% covered benefit by most commercial insurance and is fully covered with no out-of-pocket cost with Medicare and MediCal to patients who are eligible.   

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What makes hospice different?

Hospice care can dramatically and positively impact quality of life. The goal is to empower the individual by providing knowledge and information, to facilitate decision-making. Our clinical staffs are experts on pain control and symptom management. They are committed to education of patients and caregivers. Counseling and spiritual support is available to the patient as well as the family member.

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What a Hospice is not?

  • Hospice is absolutely not euthanasia. The purpose of hospice is to provide the best quality of life possible. We do that by managing a patient's symptoms, managing their pain, providing comfort, as well as providing emotional support to the family and caregivers. Just because you were given 6 months or less to live by your doctor does not mean there aren't anymore things that you want to do and people to see. When you are admitted to hospice, you are to fill up a "Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)" form.  In this form, you are given many choices regarding what you want to happen specifically should your heart stops: if you want the EMT to do CPR, hospitalizations, antibiotics, feeding tubes, diagnostics, lab work, etc... You are given full control over your life. You can be full code, meaning we will do everything to keep you alive, or you can refuse all or only choose certain treatments. You can also change your mind at anytime.
  • Hospice is not a nursing home facility, but we do provide care for people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It is an agency that sends visiting staff directly to the patient's residence whether it be a home, a nursing home, or assisted living facility. You are also not locked down to a single place for visits to be held at. We can arrange for our staff to visit you to a place of your choice, such as in a daycare center or a relative's home that you are a guest as, as long as it is within the range of our geographical coverage. Gentle Care Hospice also works with nonprofit organizations including some that provides a place for hospice patients who does not have a home.
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Who is eligible for hospice care?

Recipients of Services:
  •     Live within our geographic boundaries
  •     Have a life threatening illness and seek comfort and palliative care.
  •     Have a physician of record.
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Common Diagnosis Eligible for Hospice Care

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with:
  • Acute Hepatic Failure
  • Alzheimer’s Disease / Dementia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) aka Lou Gherig’s Disease
  • Anoxic Brain Damage
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Asthma
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Coma
  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes with peripheral circulatory disorder
  • Diabetes with renal failure
  • Emphysema
  • End Stage Cerebrovascular Disease
  • End Stage Cirrhosis
  • End Stage COPD
  • End Stage Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
  • Gangrene
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Renal Failure
  • Stroke
  • Tuberculosis
If you need help determining eligibility, please read our Guidelines for Identication of Potential Hospice Patients, under the Educational Materials Page.

Children under the age of 18 are also eligible for hospice care thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and they don't have to give up curative treatment in order to receive hospice care.
http://downloads.cms.gov/cmsgov/archived-downloads/SMDL/downloads/SMD10018.pdf
"Section 2302 of the law amends sections 1905(o)(1) and 2110(a)(23) of the Social Security Act to remove the prohibition of receiving curative treatment upon the election of the hospice benefit by or on behalf of a Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligible child."

Please call us at:
Tel: (818) 610 - 7618
Fax: (818) 610 - 7648
Email: Gentlecarehospice@att.net
You may also use our Patient Referral Form to quickly refer a patient to us.

Let us help you get through this difficult journey in life.

Pursuant of Title VI of the Civil Right Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Age Discrimination Act of 1973, and their implementing regulations, Gentle Care Hospice, Inc. does not discriminate in the provision of services and employment because of race, color, national origin, disability, or age.

For concerns regarding patient care and safety in our organization, that the organization has not addressed please call the administrator at (818) 610 - 7618.

You may also lodge complaints through DHS: Complaint Hotline

DHS Hotline: 1-800-228-1019
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Does Hospice mean giving up?

Can you call a life of pain, agony, and endless suffering, "Life" or is it waiting for death? If you are just waiting for death, then you have given up on life. Just because a person chooses palliative care does not mean they have given up on life, in fact, it's just the complete opposite. Choosing palliative care means you made a decision to be able to live your life pain free to allow yourself to be able to live your life to the fullest with whatever time you have left in this world. It means you are choosing to be happy and prepared.

According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, patients who had early palliative care showed that the improvement in their quality of life led to a longer survival. The patients receiving palliative care had less depression, less anxiety, and survived on average about three months longer than the control population. Hospice does not mean giving up.

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What if I outlive my 6 month prognosis?
Patients often "outlive" past their 6 month prognosis, often due to the improved quality of life brought upon by hospice care. Sometimes a patient's illness goes into remission. If the patient is determined by the doctor to be no longer terminally ill, they are no longer eligible for hospice care and have to be discharged from the hospice. Patients may always come back under hospice care again if their health changes and worsens, and meet the eligibility requirements. Readmission to the hospice only requires recertification from our doctor. Recertification does not interrupt services unless the patient was discharged.
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Payment Options

Who pays for hospice?

From: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

  • Medicare Part A
  • Medi-Cal
  • Health Insurance
  • HMO's
  • Private Payers

In most cases, hospice care may not cost your family anything.

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Hospice Care includes:

  • Nursing services

  • Physicians services

  • Home health aide and homemaker services

  • Spiritual, emotional, dietary, and other counseling.

  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

  • Volunteer support

  • Drugs for pain relief and symptom management

  • Continuous care during periods of crisis

  • Grief and bereavement services

  • Short term inpatient level of care

  • Respite care in a contracted facility

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Admissions Process

Admitting a patient to the hospice program is a simple process for the: physician, discharge planner, social worker, family member or caregiver. Just call the hospice and a staff will arrange to meet the patient/family for the explanation of the hospice benefits. Once the eligibility is determined, all hospice services requested will be provided immediately.

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Is Hospice just for the patient?

Hospice focuses not only on the comfort, quality of life, dignity and emotional needs of the patient, but also that of the family members and caregiver.

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Who is sent to my home?

We send a Certified Home Health Aide to assist the patient and caregiver with Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) that includes: bathing, brushing teeth, hygiene, changing bed linens, taking vitals, ambulation assistance, range of motion exercises, laundry, grocery shopping, and light housekeeping. 

Volunteers to provide companionship and assist the patient and caregiver. 

A Registered Nurse to regularly assess the patient, report to the MD, supervise patient's plan of care, and to coordinate care provided by the CHHA, Chaplain, Social Worker, MD, and pharmacy and Durable Medical Equipment suppliers. 

An Medical Doctor who will do home visits to diagnose, prescribe, and continually assess the patient throughout the duration of the hospice service. 

A Social worker to assist the patient and family regarding psychosocial issues, bereavement and grieving, financial, and connecting the patient and family with community resources such as: In-Home Support Service, Medicare/MediCal Eligibility, alternative housing, Meals-on-wheels, transportation, living wills, county and other resources arranged by us, thereby relieving the family of the task. 

A Chaplain that will provide spiritual care with the patient and family and assist with bereavement, grieving, and counseling. Chaplains are nondenominational so they can provide care to everyone of all religions and atheists. 

Other personnel that maybe sent may include Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, and diagnostic technicians.  

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How should I handle concerns about patient care and safety?

Quality patient care and services are a priority of Gentle Care Hospice, Inc. We encourage you to immediately bring concerns to our management team by contacting (818) 610-7618. 

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Do I get to keep my personal doctor?

YES, we will follow your personal doctor's orders and recommendations to ensure your best health. We will also keep a copy of pertinent medical records at your home.

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