Is It Time For Hospice?

A person may be ready for hospice if...

  • There is a major event in chronic / advanced disease course
  • Care needs and caregiver burden are escalating
  • Death is likely in 6-12 months
  • Patient talks about wanting to die
  • Patient or family asks about hospice
  • Treatments are being withheld or withdrawn

Signs and symptoms to look for…

  • Progressive decline despite medical therapies
  • Multiple hospitalizations and frequent visits to the ER
  • Failure to “bounce back” after medical setbacks occur
  • Pain is more difficult to control
  • Diminished functional status
  • Decreased appetite
  • Progressive weight loss
  • Oxygen dependency
  • Uncontrolled nausea/vomiting
  • Recurrent infections
  • Decline in mental status
  • Increased weakness, fatigue or drowsiness
  • Increased assistance needed for walking, eating, bathing, dressing and/or going to the bathroom

Transitional Programs

Some insurance companies offer special programs that add an extra layer of support to help patients with serious conditions live as fully as possible, while they undergo curative treatment

These programs are not hospice care; instead it is an extra layer of services aimed at achieving the best possible outcomes.  Patients can still see their regular physician, go to the ER, and continue to receive curative treatments.

Concurrent Care

Patients with UHA health plans may be eligible to receive both life-prolonging curative care and hospice services under the concurrent end-of-life care benefit. Concurrent care allows those diagnosed with terminal illnesses to continue treatment, including radiation, chemotherapy, or surgical procedures, while receiving the full support of hospice services. Previously, patients often chose to forego curative treatment measures to qualify for hospice care.

Supportive Care

Patients with HMSA health plans (PPO/HMO members with primary coverage, Federal & Akamai Advantage Members, or QUEST members) may be eligible for HMSA’s supportive care program.

Similar to concurrent care, supportive care is beneficial for patients with a serious illness, helping them live as fully as possible while still undergoing curative treatment.

Services require a physician’s referral. Patients who qualify for supportive care will be enrolled for up to 90 days over a 12-month period. At any time during those 90 days, they may choose to transition to hospice care or stop supportive care and return to their regular medical care.

For more information about these transitional programs, call us at 808-924-9255