These are the questions people frequently have about hospice. If you have specific questions or would like more information about how Hospicare can help, please email us or call 607-272-0212.

Will you come to my house?

We come to wherever you are – home, health care facility or our residence. Hospice is not a place, it is a comprehensive, compassionate approach to care.

What kind of care will I receive?

Hospice provides emotional, medical and spiritual support through an interdisciplinary team made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, grief counselors, home health aides and volunteers. The goal is to improve quality of life for you and your family by focusing on symptom and pain management and comfort care rather than on curing the disease.

Who is eligible for hospice?

Residents of Tompkins or Cortland County who have a primary caregiver available, normally a family member, relative or friend, to give or supervise care. Patients need to have a doctor’s certification that their life expectancy is six months or less, should the disease continue its expected course. Patients need to no longer be receiving curative treatment and agree to receive only care geared toward comfort and pain relief.

Do I need a physician referral?

Anyone can contact Hospicare. To begin receiving hospice services, a doctor’s authorization is required.

Will my primary doctor be involved in my care?

Yes. Hospicare will work with your physician to develop and revise, as necessary, an individualized Plan of Care. The hospice team will assess your condition and needs on a regular basis and report back to your physician.

Is hospice care limited to six months?

No. Patients may receive hospice care as long as their condition remains appropriate. Assessments are continually made to be sure the patient’s condition warrants hospice care. To fully benefit from hospice services, patients and families should seek care early.

How will I pay for it?

Medicare and Medicaid hospice benefits pays nearly all costs of services. That includes items not normally covered by the regular Medicare and Medicaid programs, including the cost of medications related to your hospice diagnosis and durable medical equipment such as electric beds, walkers and wheelchairs. Many private insurance policies have a hospice benefit that covers most charges, less deductibles and co-insurance.

What if I have no insurance and don’t qualify for Medicare?

Hospicare will bill for services according to a sliding-fee schedule. No one is ever turned away for inability to pay.

Is hospice only for people with cancer?

Hospice cares for patients with any life-limiting illness such as cancer as well as congestive heart failure, renal and liver diseases, ALS, dementia, pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS.

With hospice care can I still leave the house?

Yes. With your doctor’s guidance, and provided it is safe to do so, you may do just about anything that keeps you full of life. It’s your choice!

Will you be with me 24 hours a day?

For all our patients, our nurses are on call 24 hours a day.
Our staff and volunteers check in with you regularly, but we only provide round-the-clock care in our residence.

Does hospice require me to have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order?

No. However, we help you develop a Plan of Care that focuses on noninvasive relief of symptoms rather than curative care.

Does entering hospice mean there is no hope?

Hospice focuses on the hope that every day will be the best it can be rather than that the disease will be cured. The goal of hospice is to ease the suffering of chronically and terminally ill people and their families and friends. Some patients with advanced disease are discharged from hospice because their condition improves.

Does hospice do anything to hasten or delay death?

No. The purpose of hospice is to relieve pain, control symptoms and enhance the quality of life for patients and their families.