Hospice

  • Hospice is a coordinated and supportive program for terminally ill persons and their families.
  • Care focuses on easing symptoms rather than treating disease. The patient and his or her family receive physical, psychological, social and spiritual support and care.
  • The core services are nursing and physician services, medical social services, nutrition counseling, and spiritual and bereavement counseling. Hospice can also provide home health aide and homemaker services, medical supplies and appliances, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and short-term inpatient care.

Who is eligible?

This program is available through Medicaid, Medicare, private payment, and some health insurers to persons who have a medical prognosis of six or fewer months to live if the terminal illness runs its normal course.

How do I find Hospice?

For hospice information, call the American Hospice Foundation at 202-223-0204 or check your phone book’s yellow pages.

Referrals to hospice may come from any source, but a physician must certify the individual as having a terminal illness with a life expectancy of fewer than six months. The election of the hospice benefit implies that the patient or representative acknowledges that he or she waives the right to standard Medicare or Medicaid benefits for treatment of the terminal illness and related conditions. Patients have the ability to rescind this election and subsequently reapply for hospice benefits at a later date.

The NYS Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for quality assurance through onsite surveys and complaint investigations. Consumers, family members, friends, or home-care workers can call the Home Health Hotline (800-628-5972) with any complaints.