Hospice Frequently Asked Questions

What is hospice care?
Hospice is a philosophy of care. It is our mission to treat the person rather than the disease, focusing on quality of life. Hospice services from Partners In Care surround the patient and family with a team of specialists who offer medical assistance combined with emotional and spiritual support.

Is hospice a place?
Hospice is not just a place—it’s a service. Hospice brings physical, emotional, and spiritual care and support to wherever our patients call home. If our patients need specialized or skilled medical care to control their symptoms, our Hospice House provides the assistance and care needed in the region’s only inpatient facility dedicated to hospice care.

Is hospice right for me or my loved one?
Hospice patients have very serious medical conditions or diseases that are life threatening. Most Central Oregon hospice patients and loved ones turn to our services because they want support during this phase in their life and may need pain relief, medical services, and emotional support. Seriously ill patients whose priority is to have the best quality of life possible are those who are best suited for hospice.

When is the right time to ask about hospice?
Sooner than later. End-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, but communicating with family members about their wishes long before it becomes a concern is smart. These conversations can greatly reduce stress when it is time for hospice services. This can help ensure that patients make an educated decision that includes input from family members and loved ones.

Should we wait for the doctor to suggest hospice services?
You can, but the choice to ask for hospice care truly belongs to you and your family. If you think your loved one or family member might benefit from the support of regular home visits from hospice specialists, ask your doctor if hospice might be something to consider now or in the near future. It’s a personal and important decision; you should share your wishes with your caregivers.

When is the best time to start hospice care?
Most patients and families who receive hospice care say they wish they had known about it earlier, and that they really needed the help and support much sooner than they received it. Experts agree that at least two to three months of care is optimal; this can help increase the quality of life for the patient and the emotional support for family and loved ones. If you think that your family member or the person you care for could benefit from pain or symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, or any of the other services hospice can offer ask your physician if the timing might be right.

How does hospice care begin?
Hospice care can start as soon as a formal request is made by your doctor. Depending upon the patient and family needs and schedule, a Partners In Care representative will call and schedule a visit with the patient and family right away. Hospice care usually begins within a day or two of the referral. However, in urgent situations, hospice services may begin sooner.

Can hospice patients who show signs of recovery return to regular medical treatment?
Absolutely. If the patient’s condition improves, the patient can opt out of hospice and return to therapy. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare and most private insurance will resume coverage for this purpose.

Who pays for hospice?
Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies cover most hospice services. We will work with you to contact your insurance company to learn about individual coverage and any co-payments. No patient will ever be refused care because of financial reasons.

Is there help for the family and loved ones after the hospice process?
Partners In Care provides ongoing grief support for family and friends following the death of a loved one. Our bereavement groups for adults and children are available to anyone in our community at not cost, whether or not their loved ones were in our care. We also offer individual grief counseling.