FAQ

+ Who Pays for Hospice?

There is NO COST to the patient or family because the Hospice Benefit is covered under Medicare Part A and Medi-Cal.

This allows the patient to choose their preferred hospice agency regardless of the type of insurance patient has at time of enrollment into hospice. Patients do not have to utilize a hospice agency connected with their insurance or HMO. The Choice is YOURS.

Once hospice is identified as the type of care necessary for patient, then a FSH Team member will run eligibility for patient to ensure they are able to take advantage of this benefit.

For more information about eligibility, please call us today at 310-388-8790.

+ What can I Expect when being on Hospice?

From the time you get the referral from a physician, health care provider, friend or family member to explore the idea of hospice, an FSH team member will contact you to educate you on the Hospice Benefit. We will then be with you every step of the way from enrollment to admission into the program. There is no obligation for consultation as part of our mission at FSH is to educate patients and the community at large about the hospice benefit and specifically, our agency.

Once on the program, an individualized plan of care will be developed by the hospice team to begin services that will be approved and managed by a Hospice Physician. At, FSH, we will provide the highest standard of care as we are passionate about the work we do and are honored to be given the opportunity to care for patients and their loved ones. Patients will have full access to all services wherever the patient resides whether an individual home, community or facility.

The end of life is one of the most vulnerable periods in someone’s life and you want to ensure that your loved one is in good hands. At FSH, we strive each and every day to provide personalized care so that the patient on hospice has better quality of life.

In addition, given that we are accredited by The Joint Commission, which is the oldest healthcare accrediting agency in the country, indicates that we have the highest standards, as the Joint Commission accredits most hospitals in the United States. Not all hospices are accredited by this prestigious organization.

+ Can the patient still see their Primary Physician?

Yes, absolutely. We actually prefer to have the primary physician involved in the hospice plan of care as sometimes there is a long-standing relationship between the physician and the patient. Under the hospice benefit patients are still able to see their primary physician. The plan of care is then coordinated by the Hospice Physician and the Primary Physician. If the patient does not have an active primary physician then the hospice physician takes the lead in approving the plan of care so that the patients’ needs are addressed.

+ How often will the patient be seen by Hospice disciplines?

An individualized plan of care will be developed for each patient that will include frequency of visits for the various disciplines based on the patients’ needs at the time of Admission. The plan of care is then approved by the Hospice Physician. On a regular basis the plan of care is reviewed and adjusted to ensure that the patients’ needs are met and that loved ones are supported. The various disciplines that are available to the patient and loved ones are hospice physician, skilled nursing, certified personal care givers (CHHAs), licensed social worker, spiritual counselor, volunteers and other healthcare providers if other therapies are determined appropriate for patient.

+ Advance Health Care Directive

An Advanced Health Care Directive allows the patient to identify their wishes so that families and loved ones are not having to make decisions for the patient. The patient is empowered to make those decisions in advance of losing the ability to do so.

At FSH, we believe this is an important document to have for each patient, as we want to ensure that the patients’ wishes are being honored. This also relieves family members and loved ones and makes everything transparent so that the stress of having to guess is removed from the decision-making process. This time can be stressful, so anything we can do to plan accordingly is important.

At FSH, we can assist you with securing an Advanced Health Care Directive for your loved one. Please ask an FSH team member about this service at the time of enrollment.

California Health Care Advance Directive Form Download Here

+ What are the different levels of Hospice care?

The various levels of care is provided wherever the patient calls home — individual home, community or facility.

Routine Care is the most common level of hospice care. The patient at this time will receive services from all the hospice disciplines. The individualized plan of care will be reviewed regularly to ensure this level of care is appropriate for the patient and addressing his/her needs.

Continuous Care is provided during those periods of crisis in which the patient requires more continuous care (more frequent or round-the-clock care) from the hospice team to achieve comfort (palliation) or management of acute medical symptoms. This is more intensive type of care where patients will receive visits from hospice nurses and hospice aides. In addition, at times, the hospice physician will also see the patient.

General Inpatient Care is care for pain control and symptom management that cannot be provided in the patients’ home, wherever home may be and a short-term visit to a hospital or long-term care facility may be necessary.

Respite Care is short-term relief for the patient’s caregiver where the patient may be moved to community or facility for a number of days periodically under the care of the hospice agency. At FSH, we are committed to support the caregivers and we are happy to explore if this type of care makes sense for the patient and loved ones.

Our team can be accessed 24 hours 7 days a week both during regular office hours and after hours. You will have access to hospice nurse and hospice physician. For after hours calls you will be directed to our on-call phone line where you will be able speak to a First Serenity Hospice team member.