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Answers to Questions You May Have About Hospice Care

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Who can receive hospice services?

Hospice is for people who have a medical prognosis with a life expectancy of 6 months or less if the illness runs its normal course. 

When should hospice be considered?

It may be time to consider hospice care if you or your loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Taking blood pressure

Who pays for hospice services?

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances pay for hospice care.

What diagnoses are most common?

Cancer is the most common diagnosis. The next four non-cancer diagnoses, in order, are: Heart Disease, Dementia, Lung Disease, and Kidney Disease.

Where is hospice care provided?

Hospice care is provided in the patient's home—whether that is in a private residence, assisted living or nursing facility.

What are the hospice certification periods?

There are three types of benefit periods under the Medicare Hospice Program:

  • An initial 90-day period
  • A 2nd 90-day period
  • An unlimited number of 60-day periods

These benefit periods may be used consecutively or independently. At the beginning of each period, the Hospice Medical Director re-certifies the patient.

A patient can remain in the hospice program as long as the hospice believes they are still eligible for hospice services.

A patient can revoke the hospice benefit at any time. If a patient re-enters a hospice after revocation, the patient enters a new certification period.

How can I begin to receive hospice services?

After you contact Safe Haven Hospice:

  • We will perform a free medical evaluation to see if the individual is appropriate for hospice care.
  • We will contact your physician and our Hospice physician.
  • If appropriate, the patient or family will sign a statement electing hospice care.
  • We will admit the patient within three hours of a doctor’s order and patient/family approval.

For more information on Hospice, visit The American Hospice Association:


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