Monday, June 30, 2008

Fun-filled Funereal Facts

Hospice is not just a building that houses dying people. Hospice is a "philosophy of care". In fact, most hospices cannot afford to have their own ,"stand-alone", inpatient facility. Most hospices contract with local nursing homes, rehabs, hospitals, etc. to house and assist with the care of their inpatients. 

You cannot, upon getting a prognosis of six months or less to live, just move into an inpatient unit and hang out there until you die. Medicare and other insurance providers have guidelines about what constitutes an appropriate inpatient admission. Symptom management, such as uncontrolled pain, is an example of an acceptable inpatient admission.

The vast majority of hospice patients are in their homes. They, and their caregivers, receive the support of nurses, doctors, nursing assistants, social workers and pastoral counselors. It's a beautiful concept. Not perfect...but beautiful.

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