Frequently Asked Questions
When is Hospice appropriate?
Hospice care becomes an option when a patient with a life-limiting condition has received a prognosis of six months or less. Communication about hospice care is helpful as physicians and patients discuss treatment options. When a patient chooses hospice, the decision to cease curative procedures is made in favor of comfort care which focuses on pain management, symptom control, and emotional and spiritual support for the patient and family, and other supportive services that lessen the burden of illness and caregiving.
Should I wait for our physician to bring up the subject of hospice, or can I raise it first?
The decision to choose hospice should be made by patient and family with physician input. Open and honest discussion about treatment options should be held throughout the course of the illness. If a patient or family feels that their physician is reluctant to discuss hospice care, it is always appropriate for them to start the conversation. The sooner care begins, the better, so that the patient and family have time to become comfortable with their care team, and benefit from services that will help them enjoy life to the fullest.
How do I refer someone to Houston Hospice?
A referral begins with a phone call to Houston Hospice (713-468-2441). Call any time, day or night. A caring staff member will ask questions about the illness, previous treatment, the attending physician’s endorsement of hospice care, and questions about the home and family situation that would affect caregiving. A referral can come from the family, a friend, clergy, a health care provider or even from the patient. Patients have the right to choose the hospice of their choice. No doctor or medical facility can dictate which hospice a patient uses.
What does the admissions process involve?
The admissions process involves a discussion with an admissions nurse to talk about the care and support services the patient and family can expect from Houston Hospice. Medicare, Medicaid and/or other available benefits will also be discussed. Admissions: 713-468-2441.
Can we keep our own doctor?
Yes. Houston Hospice encourages the continuation of a patient’s primary care physician. If this is not possible or preferred, Houston Hospice has doctors and other medical staff available to help patients who have no physician.
Where is hospice care provided?
Houston Hospice provides the majority of its care in a patient’s home, with family and friends acting as primary caregivers. If there is no residence, care can be arranged in an assisted living community. If inpatient care is required to address severe symptoms, Houston Hospice has contracts with hospitals throughout its service area in addition to its own Margaret Cullen Marshall Hospice Care Center located in the Texas Medical Center.
What assistance does hospice provide in the patient's home?
Houston Hospice patients receive care from a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice aides, chaplains, counselors and trained volunteers. The team will insure that the patient receives all necessary medical supplies and medications. They will also provide social, emotional and spiritual support to the patient, caregivers and other loved ones.
How do we pay for hospice care?
Houston Hospice is a Medicare and Medicaid certified hospice. And, Houston Hospice accepts private insurance and has relationships with a number of managed care companies. See our current list of contracted insurance. Most hospices do not accept private insurance. Arrangements may be negotiated to meet specific patient needs with individual insurance case managers. Charity funds may be available for part or all care if a patient qualifies based on a Houston Hospice financial assessment.
Is hospice care appropriate for all cultural and faith traditions?
Yes. Houston Hospice teams work in partnership with every patient and family to provide a unique plan of care. Several Houston Hospice team members speak multiple languages such as Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Vietnamese. Chaplains are available to care for patients and families of many different faith traditions. If a chaplain for your faith is not on staff and you would like one, our chaplains will work with you to find a faith leader who can provide the care you and your family need.