Frequently Asked Questions
No. The opposite is probably true. The goal of hospice is neither to forestall nor hasten disease outcomes. Hospice focuses on alleviating pain and discomforting symptoms, maximizing quality of life, and supporting family members during challenging times. However, palliative and emotional support have been connected with prolonging life for patients with terminal conditions.

A very large, scientific study tracked the billing records of 4,493 Medicare beneficiaries. They found that, on average, patients who qualify for hospice care live longer when patients enroll in hospice in a timely fashion compared to patients who seek curative treatment until the very end.

Source: Connor S, Pyenson B, Fitch K, et al. Comparing hospice and nonhospice patient survival among patients who die within a three-year window. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2007 Mar; 33 (3): 238-46.
If a patient's condition improves or goes into remission, he or she may be discharged from hospice services and return to other medical care as needed. This happens from time to time. Patients can be re-admitted to hospice services again at a later time if needed.
Hospice care should be considered when a patient no longer desires curative treatment or when there are no reasonable, curative options. When a patient's goals begin to revolve around spending time with friends and family, being comfortable, and being rested, hospice is usually the appropriate service for those goals. Medicare and most insurances look for a patient to have a prognosis of six months, if the disease follows its usual course. This is just an estimate, and some patients will be enrolled in hospice longer than six months. Expert consensus is that a patient should have at least three months of hospice care to be able to receive satisfactory physical and emotional benefits. While earlier referrals are better for the patient and family, Legacy Hospice does welcome patients with later referrals.
The patient and/or family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, or other health-care professionals. Patients and families should be fully aware of hospice services long before they actually need them - even if they never choose to use hospice. This is the only way to ensure that patients know to ask for hospice at the right time.
It is never easy and sometimes very difficult to care for loved ones at home. At the end of a long, progressive illness, nights especially can be very long, lonely, and scary. Legacy Hospice, Inc. has nurses on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk with you by phone or make visits to assist when needed. When comparing patients who received home hospice care to patients who did not, research consistently shows that the family caregivers of patients receiving hospice are more satisfied afterwards.

Source: Teno J, et al. “Family perspectives on end-of-life care at the last place of care.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004; 291:88-93.
Legacy Hospice, Inc. is not affiliated with any particular religion, but does offer spiritual support.
When a patient is referred to hospice, staff members will contact the patient's physician to verify that hospice is appropriate. A nurse will then meet with the patient to complete an assessment to determine the patients' needs. A social worker will also offer assistance, addressing any emotional, social, or spiritual needs of the patient or family.
After the referral is made to hospice care, it usually takes about 24 hours for services to begin.
Very high. Using some combination of medications, counseling, and therapies, most patients can attain a level of comfort that is acceptable to them.
Yes, your physician can remain responsible for your care while in hospice.
Very high. Using some combination of medications, counseling, and therapies, most patients can attain a level of comfort that is acceptable to them.
Hospice family researching questions