Frequently Asked Questions
Hospice care is a special kind of healthcare. At Pallatus Health, our program is designed to meet the needs of a patient and their family. Quality of life becomes the focus where patient’s and family’s needs are considered as a whole (emotional, spiritual, social and physical). Hospice care provides:
- Treatment of pain, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, and other symptoms
- Medicine, supplies, and equipment to treat symptoms and enhance comfort
- Emotional, spiritual and social support for the patient and their family
- Education, training and support for family caregivers
- Family caregiver training program with over 20 short courses
- Counseling and grief support for loved ones that continues for years
Durable medical equipment is any equipment that helps patients with certain medical conditions or illnesses. Common medical equipment used in palliative care or hospice care includes the following:
- Oxygen equipment (including ventilators)
- Bi-Pap and C-Pap machines (these machines help you breathe while you sleep)
- Hospital beds
- Blood pressure monitors
- Lifts (this equipment helps you move and change positions)
- Kidney machines
- Needles and syringes
- Central line dressing change kits
- Feeding tubes
Pallatus Health will deliver medical equipment when you need it directly to your door. We will also set up the equipment and show you how to use it properly. We even fix equipment when repairs are required. If you no longer need your medical equipment, we will arrange for someone to come to your home and pick it up.
Our program is designed to keep the patient comfortable at the place they call home, such as your own house, nursing home, assisted living facility, or in a hospital. Many of our patients choose to receive care at home so their friends and family can visit.
Choosing where to receive hospice care is a personal decision, but it may be helpful to talk with family members, your caregiver, or our team about the level of care you need and if it can be provided at home.
Pallatus Health accepts most major insurance, including Medicare, Medi-Cal and most private insurance providers to offer most services at no additional charge.
No. Choosing hospice means a patient and their family are embracing hope for a better life. Being able to choose how you spend your days while sick is a blessing. Will your days be spent in and out of hospitals, with surgeries, uncomfortable treatments, visiting hours and aggressive therapies? Or will you choose to spend your time with maximum comfort, safely at home, surrounded by loved ones?
We never give up hope for a better life.
No. Most doctors report that they do not regularly tell patients about life expectancy. This leads to fewer people using hospice in a timely way. It is usually up to the patient and their caregivers or family to take an active role in their health plan.
Choosing hospice care may be one of the hardest choices you have to make. However, it’s an important choice to explore. Hospice care usually begins when a doctor decides the patient’s life expectancy is 6 months or less. Signs it may be time for hospice include:
- Frequent hospital visits or trips to the ER
- Rapid decline in overall health despite medical treatment
- Uncontrolled pain, nausea or vomiting
- Inability to perform daily tasks without assistance
- Decrease in food and fluid intake
No, this is not true. In fact, hospice tends to lengthen life. Hospice is for patients who already have a medical life expectancy of six months or less, and rest is actually really great medicine. Compared to patients who pursue other medical care, patients who choose hospice tend to live longer by days, weeks, or even months.
No, hospice provides services to individuals with any terminal diagnosis and who have a life expectancy of six months or less based on a physician’s best judgment. This includes patients with Alzheimer’s, heart and liver diseases, cancer, COPD and other lung conditions, ALS, Parkinson’s and many other conditions.
Hospice services, including medical equipment and medications are covered under the Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefits. Most private insurance plans also offer a hospice benefit.
At Pallatus, a hospice registered nurse is available via telephone 24 hours a day for if needed for patient safety and questions. However, a hospice staff member does not stay with the patient 24 hours a day.
However, hospice patients should have a primary caregiver, usually a loved one. Our team works to empower these caregivers to be the best they can be so that 24 hour professional care is not necessary.
Pallatus Health has an extensive network of facilities where patients may be cared for. These include nursing homes, hospitals and inpatient resident centers. These facilities all make perfect homes for patients who need extra care and attention.
However, it is important to note that the cost to live in these facilities may not be fully covered by your insurance. Our social workers will help you determine the best care that you quality for with your insurance.
Yes. Hospice and palliative care programs must meet certain state licensure requirements in order to deliver care. We must also comply with federal regulations in order to be approved for reimbursement under Medicare. Hospice care centers also periodically undergo inspections to ensure they meet regulatory and safety standards.
These are all completed in order to ensure that patients are compassionately cared for and that their safety and comfort are always at the forefront of our practices.
Hospice centers that are proud of their care quality will use tools that allow them to see how they are doing in the eyes of their patients and families. We use family satisfaction surveys to obtain feedback so we can continually make improvements.
You may also ask to see a copy of our latest state or Medicare inspection report to see if there have been any issues.