Myths and Facts about Hospice

Hospice Foundation of America

Myth: Hospice is where you go when there is "nothing else to be done."

Reality: Hospice is the "something more" that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured. It is a concept based on comfort-oriented care. Referral into hospice is a movement into another mode of therapy, which may be more appropriate for terminal care.

Myth: Families should be isolated from a dying patient.

Reality: Hospice staff believe that when family members (including children) experience the dying process in a caring environment, it helps counteract the fear of their own mortality and the mortality of their loved one.

Myth: Hospice care is more expensive.

Reality: Studies have shown hospice care to be no more costly. Frequently it is less expensive than conventional care during the last six months of life. Less high-cost technology is used, and family, friends, and volunteers provide 90% of the day-to-day patient care at home.

Additionally, patients eligible for Medicare or Medicaid will pay few out-of-pocket expenses related to their hospice care. Most private insurers also cover some or most hospice related expenses.

Myth: You can't keep your own doctor if you enter hospice.

Reality: Hospice physicians work closely with your doctor of choice to determine a plan of care.

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