Common Misconceptions About Hospice Care

 

Myth:  Hospice is a place. Fact: Although there are some in-patient hospice facilities, most hospice services are actually provided in the patient's own home.  Hospice of Pamlico County currently provides only in-home hospice care, whether the patient lives in his or her own home, with family, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home.

 

Myth:  You can only get pain control in a hospital. Fact: Hospice care is comfort care.  Since the objective of treatment is no longer aimed at curing the illness, all effort is aimed at pain and symptom relief.  It is our #1 goal.  

 

Myth:  Hospice care, like home care, is probably really expensive.  Fact: Medicare pays for nearly 100% of home hospice care.  At Hospice of Pamlico County, we waive small Medicare deductibles and do not bill non-Medicare patients for our services.  There is no cost to patients and their families.

 

Myth:  All hospice agencies are part of one big entity called Hospice.  Fact: There are many hospice agencies, large and small. Some are commercial, non-profit, funded by local government, or private.  Some belong to large corporations or are independent. Hospice of Pamlico County is a small, non-profit, independent agency.  We are not affiliated with any government agencies or large healthcare corporations.

 

Myth:  Hospice is only for cancer patients. Fact:  Anyone whose physician has given them a prognosis of six months or less may be eligible for hospice services, regardless of diagnosis.  A registered nurse is available for a comprehensive assessment to assist in determining eligibility, at no charge to the patient or family.

 

Myth:  Hospice is only for the last few days of life.  Fact: Most experts recommend that persons with life-limiting illnesses have at least 90 days of hospice care, and Medicare offers unlimited hospice days.  The most common regret of hospice families is that they did not start hospice services earlier.

 

Myth:  Hospice means giving up hope: Fact: Hospice is really about living life as fully as possible until the end.  Curative treatments unrelated to the terminal illness can continue as long as the patient wishes.

 

Myth:  Hospice care causes the patient to die sooner. Fact: Hospice care does not hasten or delay death.

 

Myth:  When hospice comes in, they just "take over."  Fact: Hospice empowers patients and families to make decisions and realize their own wishes.  Patients and their families are involved in all phases of planning hospice care.

 

Myth:  Hospice is only for the elderly.  Fact: Hospice services are available to all ages.

 

Myth:  If I start hospice, I won't get to see my own doctor.  Fact: Hospice care is directed by the patient's own primary care physician.  If you are using the Medicare Hospice Benefit, your Part B physician coverage is unchanged.