Hospice Care

Comfort, Dignity, and Care in a Familiar Setting

What is Hospice Care

The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient’s last months by offering comfort, dignity, and care wherever the patient resides.

Brighton Hospice recognizes that the dying process is a part of the normal process of living and focuses on enhancing the quality of remaining life. Our team of physicians, nurse case managers, aides, social workers, chaplains, dietitians, therapists, volunteers, bereavement specialists, and administrative staff will provide you and your family with the quality care you deserve.

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Medicare and Hospice Benefit

Hospice Services Are Covered 100% by Part A Medicare, Medicaid, & Many Private Insurances

If you have traditional Medicare or Medicaid, there will never be any copays or additional bills for you or your family.

Many private insurances have a hospice benefit. Our highly trained experts will work with you and your family to determine your hospice benefit and any out of pocket costs.

The Brighton Difference

Raising the Hospice Standard

Medicare has set minimum standards of care for hospice. Brighton’s mission is to raise the hospice industry standard by providing the maximum amount of physical, emotional, and spiritual care for our patients and their families.

Services

Medicare Standard

*Brighton Standard

Nurse Visits

Minimum of 1 visit in a 14-day period

2 or more visits per week, as directed by Medical Director

Aide Visits

Per patient need

Up to 5 visits per week, as directed by Medical Director

Physicians

Physician services as necessary

Attending physician, hospice physician, Medical Director, and nurse practitioner available. Brighton's hospice physician and nurse practitioner will make house calls as necessary

Medical Social Services

Social worker visits as necessary

Social workers and chaplains visit twice a month or more frequently as needed

Grief & Loss Counseling

Grief & loss counseling as necessary

Bereavement specialists offer grief support groups in-person and virtually throughout the year

Therapy

Physical, occupational, and speech therapies

In addition to the Medicare standard therapies, we offer complimentary therapies such as aroma therapy, massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, and more!

Volunteer Services

Volunteer services as necessary

Our volunteers are specially trained by Brighton to provide assistance to patients, their families, and the hospice team

Supplies

Supplies associated with hospice diagnosis provided

We provide medications, medical equipment, and medical supplies related to hospice diagnosis, including incontinence supplies

*Brighton’s services will vary by agency and each patient’s hospice physician-directed plan of care.

Determining Level of Care

Quality Care You and Your Family Deserve

A patient can be admitted to hospice on any level of care deemed necessary by the hospice physician.  As a patient’s needs change, they may be transferred between levels of care. With four levels of care in place, no patient should ever be left alone in a crisis situation.

Routine Home Care

Routine home care is the most utilized level of care under the hospice benefit. Once a patient has been deemed hospice-appropriate by the hospice Medical Director, our staff visits the patient wherever they live. Brighton Standard services (see above) are provided in this and all levels of care.

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Continuous Care

If a patient develops physical or emotional symptoms that aren’t easily managed with routine care, continuous care may be an option, as directed by the hospice physician.

Continuous care provides more intense care in the patient’s home environment. Under this level of care, a nurse and/or a hospice aide remains in the patient’s home environment for a minimum of 8 hours in a 24-hour period to administer medications, treatments, and support until the symptoms are under control. Some examples of symptoms requiring continuous care are unrelieved pain, severe nausea and vomiting, severe shortness of breath, and anxiety or panic attacks.

Continuous care is considered a short-term level of care and is reevaluated every hour. 

General Inpatient Care

Some patients may have symptoms so severe that they cannot be adequately controlled in the home.  

Symptoms requiring inpatient care are the same as those requiring continuous care, but the setting of care is different. With inpatient care, hospice services can be provided in a skilled nursing facility, where nurses are available around the clock to administer medications, treatments, and emotional support to make the patient more comfortable.  

As with continuous care, inpatient care is considered short-term and is discontinued once a patient’s symptoms are under control and they are comfortable.

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Respite Care

This level of care is used to support the family or caregiver of the patient in order to provide respite from primary caregiver duties.  If the family or caregiver is having a difficult time with the demands of caregiving, respite care may be an option.

If a patient’s family is the primary source of care and cannot meet the patient’s needs due to caregiver stress or other extenuating circumstances, a patient may temporarily be admitted to an inpatient environment, such as a skilled nursing facility, to give the family a needed break or respite.

Once the period for respite care expires, the patient may privately pay for additional respite days or return to routine care in their home setting. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 so that you can 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. Many of our patients admitted have conditions related to cancer, but many have other diagnoses.

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.

Do hospice services cease if a patient is admitted to an acute care hospital?

Yes. An acute care hospital is considered curative, and is therefore not part of the hospice plan of care.

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We’re Here to Help

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