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What is hospice care?
Hospice care is available to anyone with a life limiting illness and a prognosis of six months or less to live. When the goal of care changes from cure to comfort, hospice offers quality of life where the patient lives surrounded by their loved ones. Our hospice team consists of a medical director, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and a bereavement counselor. The inter-disciplinary approach to hospice care helps meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
Who pays for hospice? is it covered by my insurance?
Chattahoochee Hospice services are available for anyone with a life-limiting illness as determined by the patient's physician. We provide these services without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin or financial resources. Chattahoochee Hospice bills and accepts reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance.
If i start hospice can i keep my physician?
You certainly are able to keep your personal physician and pharmacy. Your physician made the initial diagnosis and referral to hospice and remains involved throughout your care. We maintain constant contact with your physician as Chattahoochee Hospice and your physician work together to ensure you get the best care possible.
What happens if my condition improves?
This does happen with patients under hospice care. Sometimes the disease process either stops or reverses itself. The hospice staff will communicate your health care options with you and your family. A patient can go on and off hospice care as needed, or decide to return to curative treatment at any time.
When is the right time to ask about hospice care?
Now is the best time to learn more about hospice and ask questions about what to expect from hospice services. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, it is best for family members to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice is needed.
How does the hospice work to keep the patient comfortable?
Many patients may have pain and other serious symptoms as illness progresses. Hospice staff receives special training to care for all types of physical and emotional symptoms that cause discomfort and distress. Because keeping the patient comfortable and pain-free is an important part of hospice are, hospice programs have developed ways to measure how comfortable the patient is during the course of their stay in hospice. Hospice staff work with the patient's physician to make sure that medication, therapies, and procedures are designed to achieve the goals outlined in the patient's care plan.
Do state and federal auditors inspect and evaluate hospices?
Yes. There are State licensure requirements that must be met by hospice certified programs in order for them to deliver care. In addition, hospices must comply with federal regulations in order to be approved for reimbursement under Medicare. Hospices must periodically undergo inspection to be sure they are meeting regulatory standards in order to maintain their license to operate and the certification that permits Medicare reimbursement.
Can I be cared for by hospice if I live in a nursing facility or other type of long-term care facility?
Yes. Hospice services can be provided to a terminally ill person wherever they live. This means a patient living in a nursing facility or long-term care facility can receive specialized visits from hospice nurses, hospice nursing aides, chaplains, social workers and volunteers in addition to other care and services provided by the nursing facility.
What is advance care planning?
Advance care directives are legal documents that allow an individual to plan and make their end-of-life wishes known in the event that they are unable to communicate. Advance directives consist of (1) a living will and (2) a medical (healthcare) power of attorney. A living will describes the person's wishes regarding medical care. A medical power of attorney is appointed by an individual and can make healthcare decisions for that person in case the individual is no longer able to make such decisions.
What bereavement services are offered?
For a minimum of one year following the death of hospice patients, grieving families and friends of hospice patients can access bereavement education and support. This support includes follow-up phone calls, visits, support groups and mailings throughout the post-death year.
What is the Interdisciplinary team (IDT)?
The hospice team develops a care plan with the patient and the patient's family to meet the patient's individual needs and goals of care for pain management and symptom control. This interdisciplinary team usually consists of the hospice physician or medical director, nurses, hospice aides social workers, bereavement counselors, clergy or other spiritual counselors, trained volunteers and if necessary speech, physical, and occupational therapists. Members of the IDT make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. Hospice staff is on -call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Serving The Greater Valley Area Since 1983
6 Medical Park North
Valley, Alabama 36854
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Grief Support - 1st Thursday of each month 6:30 PM EDT at CH Office
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National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
Alabama Hospice Association
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