The Truth About Hospice

Gateway Hospice is dedicated to providing our patients, families and customers with accurate and timely information regarding end of life services. There are many misconceptions about what hospice is and does.

Misconception: “In order to qualify for hospice services the patient must have only six months left to live.”

Truth: Six month prognosis is only a guideline and many patients can remain on hospice, providing they meet hospice Medicare criteria.

Misconception: “Hospice is a place where patients are sent.”

Truth: Although there are hospice in-patient facilities, hospice doesn’t have to be a place. Hospice provides services to wherever the patient calls “home,” including assisted living, nursing facilities, hospital settings and private homes. The hospice team visits the patient regardless of setting.

Misconception: “Only patients with cancer or those with a few days left really need hospice services.”

Truth: Any diagnosis or disease process can qualify an individual for hospice services. Medicare provides guidelines to assist in determining eligibility. It is highly beneficial and appropriate to identify hospice patients early on in their disease process to maximize all the benefits hospice can offer.

Misconception: “Hospice does not medically treat or take care of the patient when medically needed.”

Truth: The hospice focus is on comfort, not cure. Hospice will assist the attending physician, patient and family in aggressive comfort measures. Emphasis on quality of remaining life versus curative or invasive treatments that the patient and family do not want.