Frequently Asked Questions

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A: The staff at Grace Hospice has many years of experience providing hospice care exclusively.

  • Medicare/Medicaid certified.
  • Nurses certified in Hospice and Palliative Care.
  • Medical Director is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
  • Highly seasoned chaplaincy staff.
  • Social Workers are specially trained in end of life care.
  • Medications related to admitting diagnosis are paid for.
  • Locally owned and operated.
  • Provide care regardless of ability to pay.
  • Provide care to adults of all ages.
  • Staff specially trained in pain and symptom management.
  • Provides hospice care in 8 counties in Missouri and 6 counties in Kansas.
  • Assists in providing care-giving supplies.
  • Member of the Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
  • Member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
  • Available for inquiries or to answer questions without obligation.

A: Hospice is for anyone with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Medicare, Medicaid, and many other insurers require a prognosis of six months or less. Patients with both cancer and non-cancer illnesses can receive hospice care. Other illnesses frequently served by hospice include: cardiac, renal, pulmonary and neurological conditions; AIDS; Alzheimer's disease and end-stage dementia. The patient and family understand that the hospice concept of care is palliative and not curative in its goals.

A:Choosing when to begin hospice care is a very personal matter. The earlier that care is started, the more time a patient has to benefit from hospice care. The decision to enter hospice care is up to the individual patient and family. All hospices offer care and services for both the patient and patient's family.

A:

  • A patient has a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
  • Comfort care and symptom management become the primary focus.
  • Aggressive and curative treatments are no longer viable alternatives.

Hospice services are available to patients without regard to disease, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, or ability to pay.

Too often referrals for hospice care are not made until the patient has uncontrolled symptoms or is near death. Although hospice care can do much to assist and provide care at this time, the patient and family can benefit much more from hospice services if referred earlier. Many symptoms and pain can be anticipated and prevented from becoming severe. Symptoms that might otherwise require a hospitalization or an emergency room visit can be successfully managed by the hospice team in the patient's home.

A: Referrals to hospice may be made by anyone, including but not limited to:

  • Physicians
  • Discharge Planners
  • Social Workers
  • Patients
  • Family Members
  • Nursing Homes
  • Friends
  • Clergy

A: A patient can change his or her mind at any time and revoke hospice services to seek other medical treatment.

A: Yes. Services are based upon need rather than the ability to pay. Our goal at Grace Hospice is to help terminally ill patients be as comfortable as possible and to help them live life to the fullest, in secure and familiar surroundings with loved ones. For more information, please call one of our representatives at (816) 444-4611.

A: Hospice care is a philosophy of care that accepts dying as a natural part of life. When death is inevitable, hospice seeks neither to hasten nor postpone it. The role of hospice is to provide care and support when someone is dying. It emphasizes pain management and symptom control to make patients as comfortable as possible.

A: Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and by many private insurance companies. A majority of hospice patients are over 65 and are entitled to services under the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit covers all aspects of hospice care related to the diagnosis with little out-of-pocket expense to the patient or family. The hospice team will assist families in determining what coverage they have.

A: Services provided by Grace Hospice are not based on a family's ability to pay. The hospice social worker will work with families to determine other resources to pay for care.

A: It can be very challenging for a caregiver - and that is why hospice is valuable. In addition to overseeing the patient's care, the hospice team provides support for the caregiver as well as providing volunteers so that a caregiver can leave the house for a few hours. With hospice, the caregiver is never alone in making medical decisions: the team lends its expertise. Staff is on call 24-hours-a-day if the caregiver has questions.

A: Patients who improve or whose disease is in remission can be discharged from hospice and their hospice benefit can be used again.