VNAA - Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Other Frequently Asked Questions

When should I call Hospice?

You can gather information about hospices in your area at any time to make an informed decision about your options.

How can I tell when it's time for hospice care?

When the patient and family are ready to move from a treatment plan focused on curing the disease to a plan focused on providing comfort and relief, they may choose hospice care. It is helpful for the patient to be admitted sooner rather than later because there is more opportunity to manage symptoms and to form a relationship with the hospice team.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care may be appropriate when patients need comfort care but are not yet hospice eligible. Palliative care is primarily directed at providing relief to a terminally ill person through symptom management and pain management. The goal is not to cure, but to provide comfort and maintain the highest possible quality of life for as long as life remains. Well-rounded palliative care programs also address mental health and spiritual needs.

How long can one be on hospice?

Hospice eligibility requires a prognosis of less than six months, but patients who survive that period can be re-certified for hospice care within specified periods to determine if they remain eligible for hospice care.

Do you provide care for persons that do not have insurance?

Yes, some hospice providers provide care to any patient eligible, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay.

What is a plan of care?

A plan of care or health assessment identifies the specific needs of the patient and how those needs will be addressed by the facility.

What is inpatient care?

Inpatient care is the care of patients whose condition requires hospitalization. It involves an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical facility.

Is hospice available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Hospice care is available 'on call' after the main office hours are over, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Most hospices have nurses available to respond to a call for help within minutes, if necessary. Some hospice programs have chaplains and social workers on call as well.

Are you a nonprofit hospice agency and interested in joining the VNAA?

Visit the Affiliate Membership Web page to learn more about the benefits and services included in your membership with VNAA. No other national group can offer you benefits and services targets specifically to the needs of nonprofit hospice like the VNAA can. Learn more now!

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