Can you leave hospice care?

While hospice care is meant for individuals with a terminal illness, it's not necessarily a one-way street.

Sometimes a patient’s health does improve with hospice care at home, for a variety of reasons: their nutritional needs are satisfied, their medications are adjusted, they engage in regular social interaction, they receive more consistent medical and/or personal care, etc.

Medicare hospice care is a benefit that belongs to the patient. When individuals accept hospice care, they do so because they are eligible for the benefit and prefer to utilize it.

A significant improvement in a patient’s condition could prompt the doctor to reevaluate the patient’s prognosis over the next six months. If the patient’s physician believes the patient will outlive six months, hospice care is withdrawn.

If or when the patient’s condition worsens, the physician might reevaluate the patient. If the patient is once again qualified for hospice care, he or she may choose to resume receiving hospice care.

Can a patient elect to discontinue hospice care?

Yes. People may choose to discontinue hospice care without physician approval. That is known as “revoking” hospice care.

Occasionally, patients choose to terminate hospice care because they wish to pursue curative treatments again. Once they revoke hospice, patients have the option of undergoing surgery or resuming curative measures. Some patients leave one hospice to enter another. Regardless of the situation, hospice care is always the patient’s choice.

When a patient cancels hospice treatment, they also cancel any Medicare hospice benefits they may be getting, such as home medical equipment and supplies, holistic or therapeutic therapy, home visits, etc.

A hospice may decide to discharge a patient.

Yes. If the hospice deems that the patient is no longer terminally ill with a prognosis of fewer than six months, they are required to discharge the patient. Moreover, a hospice may discharge a patient for the following reasons:

Result of the patient’s passing

The patient cancels hospice benefits.

The patient leaves the hospice’s service area or transfers to another hospice.

According to the hospice’s rules, the patient or someone in the patient’s home is discharged for the reason that their behavior is disruptive, abusive, or prevents the hospice from doing its tasks.

Choosing hospice care may feel like the end, but patients and their families should remember that hospice care is patient-centered. If for any reason the patient or family determines that ceasing hospice care is in their best interests, their hospice provider will support their decision and welcome them back should they choose to return.

Hospice is centered on choice. If you have a physician you like, trust, and want to participate in your care, you can do so! The hospice team collaborates with your primary care physician to design the optimal care plan for you. Together, we support your objectives and aspirations; this is your path.

Hospice care provided in the home is costly.

Even though our care professionals come to you, wherever you live, there is no payment involved. Part A of Medicare covers hospice care, medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals necessary to treat your sickness. No Medicare? The majority of insurance plans cover hospice care. And if you lack insurance, Hospice of the Valley will provide care regardless of your capacity to pay. This has been our aim for the past four decades, a significant distinction from for-profit hospices.

You cannot alter your decision.

You are free to leave hospice care at any time to explore more therapies or attempt a new therapy. No rule mandates hospice care. It is the patient’s choice when to log in and when to log off the system

This view may be the most unsettling of all. The goal of hospice care is to provide comfort, dignity, and compassionate care — not to hasten the dying process. Our objective is to enhance every remaining minute.

All hospices are the same

Hospices, like restaurants, music, and people, vary in expertise. You can choose your hospice, or have one assigned to you. Switching hospices is easy with just a phone call.

Hospice care can stabilize patients’ conditions and improve their quality of life, and studies suggest that it can even lengthen life. Hospice teams also assist families with decisions and provide grief counseling.

Hospice care offers comfort and dignity in the form of a cozy blanket, a gentle combing of the hair, or a familiar tune. It returns some control and focuses on maximizing the quality of life.