Frequently Asked Hospice Questions

Let the Marcus Daly Hospice team walk alongside you during this challenging time. We are here to work with you, your family and your medical provider to develop a plan of care based on your unique needs and wishes. We recognize how difficult and overwhelming it can be when someone is nearing the end of life. Our goal is to provide you with the education, support and care that you and your family need to navigate the road ahead. You are not alone. Please call Marcus Daly Hospice Services at (406) 363-6503 to request more information.

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Hospice FAQ

Who Can Receive Hospice Care?


Who Can Receive Hospice Care?

Hospice services are appropriate for individuals who have a qualifying diagnosis and life expectancy of six months or less (if disease follows its normal course) as certified by both your physician and our Hospice Medical Director. The focus of Hospice care is on comfort, not treating or curing an illness.

Will Hospice Provide 24 Hour Care?


Will Hospice Provide 24 Hour Care?

Hospice staff does not provide ongoing 24 hour care in the home, but make visits throughout the week. While your round the clock care is the responsibility of you and your family, Hospice does provide a nurse on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions and assist with emergencies. If you live alone or need assistance, you may need to consider hiring private caregivers, moving to a nursing home or another care alternative to ensure you receive the level of care that you need. These additional services are not covered by the Medicare/Medicaid Hospice benefit.

How Are Hospice Services Paid For?


How Are Hospice Services Paid For?

Hospice benefits are available to patients enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration and many private insurance plans. Hospice care is provided in benefit periods. You may receive hospice services for two 90-day benefit periods followed by an unlimited number of 60-day benefit periods. At the start of each benefit period, a medical provider must certify that you are terminally ill so you can continue with Hospice care. If you do not have Hospice benefits, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital offers a financial assistance program. Please talk to our Hospice Care Team for more information.

What Services Are Provided By Hospice?


What Services Are Provided By Hospice?

A plan of care developed by you, your family, your medical provider and the hospice team will specify the services to be provided. The goal of hospice is to manage the symptoms of your illness (not cure it) and assist you in making the most of the time you have left. Services provided may include:

  • Physician
  • Nursing Nurse
  • Aide Social Work Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies (as determined necessary with Hospice Care Team)
  • Medications (those related to your terminal diagnosis and comfort)
  • Medical equipment and supplies Inpatient care (short term for symptom management)
  • Respite care (as determined and scheduled with Hospice Care Team)
  • Grief and loss counseling for you and your family
  • Volunteer support
  • Spiritual support

The Medicare/Medicaid Hospice Benefit will cover these services when they are related to the primary terminal illness and are included in the Hospice Plan of Care. Other insurance plans vary in the services that they cover. It is the patient/family responsibility to be aware of financial obligations for Hospice services and to make payment arrangements in advance as necessary.

Are There Services Hospice Does Not Cover?


Are There Services Hospice Does Not Cover?
  • Most insurances do not cover private paid caregivers or residential care within a skilled nursing or assisted living facility.
  • Treatments intended to cure your illness or related conditions.
  • Services that are not part of your Hospice care plan (you may pay privately for diagnostic studies or other services not covered).
  • Medications that are not directly related to your terminal illness or related conditions (as determined by the Hospice team).
  • Any care or services that were not arranged by the Hospice Care Team (emergency room, ambulance transportation, inpatient or outpatient hospital services).
  • Contact the Hospice Care Team before you receive additional services.
  • Your primary physician will continue to bill Medicare Part B/Medicaid and be paid at the current rate.

Can I Decide To Discontinue Hospice Care?


Can I Decide To Discontinue Hospice Care?

The hospice team will continually monitor your appropriateness and eligibility for Hospice services. If your condition improves, you decide to seek curative treatment for your terminal diagnosis, or if you so choose for any other reason, you may be discharged from Hospice care at any time by signing the Benefit Revocation/Discharge form.

Where Can I Receive Hospice Care?


Where Can I Receive Hospice Care?

Hospice services are provided wherever you reside, whether that be in your own home, a skilled nursing facility or assisted living community. The condition of the patient and their available support system both play an important role in determining where the patient will be the most comfortable receiving care.

Care in the Home

When Hospice care is received in the home, the patient must have the support of a primary caregiver, as Hospice does not provide 24 hour care in the home. Our Hospice care providers and volunteers will make regular visits to provide direct patient care, educate and assist caregivers to enhance the patient’s quality of life in any way possible.

Care in Skilled Nursing or Assisted Living Facilities

When a patient resides in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility, primary care will be provided by facility staff with regular visits and support from our Hospice team members.

What Can I Expect When Members Of The Hospice Care Team Visit?


What Can I Expect When Members Of The Hospice Care Team Visit?

Hospice team members will contact you to coordinate your visit days and times. Our team will make every effort to accommodate your schedule. Upon arrival, your Hospice care provider will introduce themselves and discuss with you what your goals are for the visit and explain how they plan to proceed.

What Are Bath Aide Services?


What Are Bath Aide Services?

There may be times when you or your caregivers need assistance with your personal bathing or hygiene tasks from our licensed nursing assistant. If this is part of your care plan, please have the following items available for your bath aide visits:

  • Soap Lotion (over the counter)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Razor/Shaving cream
  • Comb/Brush
  • Washclots
  • Bath/Hand towels
  • Clothing
  • Undergarments/Briefs

Can I Go To The Hospital While I Am Under Hospice Care?


Can I Go To The Hospital While I Am Under Hospice Care?

Under Hospice care, symptoms that before would have sent you to the hospital, can now be successfully managed at home with the assistance of the Hospice care team. On rare occasions, a patient may go to the hospital for a short stay to deal with an issue not related to your Hospice diagnosis. It is very important to discuss concerns with the Hospice nurse on-call before going to the hospital.

What Is A Respite Stay?


What Is A Respite Stay?

If your primary caregiver needs temporary relief, you may receive respite care. Should this need arise, respite care will be discussed with the Hospice Care Team and provided through Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. You may stay up to 5 days each time you receive respite care and can receive this care more than once, but only on an occasional basis. We will help you to schedule this stay in advance whenever possible.

Items to bring with you:

  • POLST form
  • Current medications
  • Comfort pack (Hospice Medications)
  • Personal hygiene items (lip balm, razor, comb, brush, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  • Denture cup and tablets
  • Clothing (pajamas, slippers)
  • Adaptive equipment (walker, cane)
  • Special food
  • Laundry soap (if you wish to use our laundry facility)

What Is A General Inpatient Stay?


What Is A General Inpatient Stay?

General Inpatient Stay (GIP) is provided for pain control or other acute symptom management that cannot feasibly be provided in any other setting than a hospital. GIP begins when other efforts to manage symptoms are not sufficient. There may be times when you are experiencing symptoms that require more intensive and round the clock medical care which may be provided at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. During this time, you will remain under Hospice care and the Hospice Care Team will continue to follow you and manage your care plan on while they work alongside the MDMH medical team.

What Are Bereavement Services?


What Are Bereavement Services?

Counseling or grief support for the patient and loved ones is an essential part of hospice care. After the patient’s death, bereavement support is offered to families for at least one year. These services may take a variety of forms including telephone calls, visits, written materials, or support groups.

How Can We Give Feedback About The Hospice Services We Received?


How Can We Give Feedback About The Hospice Services We Received?

Your family or caregiver may receive a patient experience survey through the mail asking about your Hospice services. We value all feedback and hope that the time will be taken to complete and return the survey so that our team can continue to improve the services we offer.

What If I Have A Concern Or A Complaint About My Hospice Services?


What If I Have A Concern Or A Complaint About My Hospice Services?

Contact our agency director any time:

Jennifer Dunn
MDMH Hospice Director
1200 Westwood Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840
(406) 363-6503
jdunn@mdmh.org

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