Why Hospice? Who is Hospice?
Medcen Foundation


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about hospice care. If you don't find your answer here, we will be glad to assist you. You can reach us at 478-633-5660 or 1-800-211-1084 (outside Macon).

Is Hospice a place?

Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home, but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities.

Does hospice mean the patient will die soon?

Receiving hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize your medical condition and address other needs. Some patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care.

Do families have to pay for hospice care?

Hospice care is a Medicare benefit. Most private insurers also cover hospice care as well. And, through its charity care policies, Pine Pointe Hospice & Palliative Care is committed to caring for all patients, regardless of an individual's ability to pay.

Do patients have to give up their own doctor?

No. Patients may keep their own physician, who will work closely with the Pine Pointe Hospice & Palliative Care Medical Director to plan and carry out care - if they so choose.

Are all hospice programs the same?

All licensed hospice programs must provide certain services, but the range of support services and programs may differ. Some programs are not-for-profit (such as Pine Pointe Hospice & Palliative Care), and their revenue is used to provide patient care and community services, versus for-profit hospices, which are accountable to shareholders.

Is hospice only for cancer patients?

No. In fact, a large number of hospice patients have congestive heart failure, dementia, chronic lung disease, or other conditions.

Can patients only receive hospice care for a limited amount of time?

Not exactly. The Medicare benefit, and most private insurance, pays for hospice care as long as the patient continues to meets the necessary criteria. Patients may come into our care, get better and not need hospice, then enroll again as needed.

Does hospice provide 24-hour care?

Yes. The hospice team (which includes nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains, and bereavement counselors) visits patients intermittently, and are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for support and care. Pine Pointe Hospice & Palliative Care can help arrange for 24-hour attendant care if necessary.

Is hospice just for the patient?

No. Hospice focuses on comfort, dignity, and emotional support for the patient. However, family members and other caregivers also receive our very best spiritual and emotional support, bereavement services, and volunteer assistance needed in the home.