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Brighton Hospice

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time to contact Brighton Hospice?

The right time to call us is when you or someone you love is faced with the challenge of an advanced illness. In fact, most families who use our services say they wish they had called us sooner.

One of our professionally trained nurses will visit you and give you all the information about how we can help you and your family make an informed decision about your healthcare. You do have to acknowledge that hospice care is a comfort-oriented program, not a curative one.

Many of our patients thrive with the personal care that the hospice team provides. Our goal is to ensure that our patients’ last months are comfortable and as pain-free as possible.

Where are our services provided?

Care is provided wherever you are living: at home, in a nursing home, group home, assisted living facility, or anywhere you call home.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care…

  • Focuses on care, not cure
  • Considers the patient and the family as a single unit
  • Emphasizes dignity, quality of life, and spiritual care
  • Encourages patients and family to participate in the decision process

Hospice care begins when a terminal prognosis of less than 6 months has been made. It provides care wherever the patient lives and keeps the patient as pain- and symptom-free as possible, with an emphasis on quality of life.

Is hospice a place where the terminally ill go to die?

Hospice is not a place but a concept of care. More than 90% of the hospice services provided in this country are based in the home. This allows families to be together when they need it most so they can share the final months and weeks in peace, comfort, and dignity.

Does hospice only serve persons diagnosed with cancer?

No. Hospice is meant for anyone with a 6-month or less prognosis, determined by a physician, and whose goals are comfort care over curative treatment. In many cases, hospice care can be started the same day as one chooses to enroll in the program.

Does a patient need to be bedridden in order to be eligible for hospice care?

No. Hospice care is appropriate at the time of the terminal prognosis, regardless of the patient’s physical condition. Many of the patients served through hospice continue to lead productive and rewarding lives. Together, the patient, family, and physician determine when hospice services should begin.

Are patients no longer eligible to receive hospice care through Medicare and other insurance after 6 months?

According to the Medicare hospice program, services may be provided to patients with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less. However, if the patient lives beyond the initial 6 months, he or she can continue receiving hospice care as long as the hospice Medical Director recertifies that the patient is terminally ill. Medicare, Medicaid, and other private and commercial insurances will continue to cover hospice services as long as the patient meets hospice criteria.

Can a patient who receives hospice care continue to see their primary physician?

Yes. Hospice reinforces the patient-primary physician relationship according to the preference of the patient, family, and primary physician. Hospice works closely with the primary physician and considers the continuation of the patient-physician relationship to be of the highest priority. Brighton Hospice has hospice physicians who work in conjunction with, or may replace, the patient’s primary care physician.

If a patient has hospice care, can he or she return to traditional medical treatment?

Yes. Patients always have the right to reinstate traditional care at any time, for any reason. If a patient’s condition improves or the disease goes into remission, he or she can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive, curative measures, if so desired. A patient can re-elect hospice care at any time, as long as they are determined to be hospice-appropriate.

Must the patient have a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order to elect the hospice benefit?

No, but a DNR order is encouraged.  The goal of hospice is to provide comfort measures and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.

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Our mission at Brighton Hospice is to provide the best physical, emotional, and spiritual care for our patients and their families.