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Q and A

Who pays for hospice?

The majority of people who use hospice services in the US are on Medicare or Medicaid. Many private insurance companies also provide hospice coverage for their beneficiaries. While some Hospice’s are ‘for-profit’, VNA Hospice is a not-for-profit agency. As such, part of our mission is to provide services free of charge to those in the community who have no insurance coverage. Donations from the community often help to offset the cost of providing these services.

What is palliative care?

It is treatment that focuses on comfort. It involves caring for the whole patient – not just the illness. This includes your physical needs as well as your emotional and spiritual well-being.

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?

While on palliative care, patients can receive curative treatments. Once a patient has chosen hospice, they have decided to end cure-oriented treatments. The focus is on comfort care (palliative care) and quality of life.

What if I want to pursue ‘cure-oriented’ treatments while on hospice?

Talk to your hospice team. They will help identify a plan of care that best suits your desires and needs.

When should hospice be considered?

  • When a patient has a life limiting illness.
  • When a patient has a life expectancy of 6 months or less and no longer receiving cure-oriented treatments.
  • When efforts to cure an illness are not working or when the burdens of treatment become too much to bear.
  • It’s never too early to consult a hospice program for evaluation.

Is hospice only for elderly people?

No. People of all ages may receive hospice – even children.

What are advance directives?

They are documents that allow you to state what kind of medical treatment you do and do not want in the event that you become unable to communicate your wishes. Click here to go to our advance directives page

Can I go off hospice?

Yes. If patient condition improves during hospice care or the patient desires, hospice care can be discontinued.


“Hospice was very responsive to all our needs and willing to answer our numerous questions.”