When is the right time to ask about Hospice Care?
Now is the best time to learn more about Summit View Hospice and ask questions about what to expect from our hospice services. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, it is best for family members to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice is needed. By having these discussions in advance, patients are not forced into uncomfortable situations. Instead, patients can make an educated decision that includes the advice and input of family members and loved ones.
How does Summit View Hospice care begin?
Typically, hospice care starts as soon as a formal request or a ‘referral’ is made. Anyone can make a referral. If you know a friend, neighbor, or relative that you think may benefit from the support of hospice, please call. One of our nurses will evaluate at no cost, and hospice will work with the patient's physician directly.
Will I be the only hospice patient that Summit View Hospice serves?
No, but every Summit View Hospice patient has access to one of our volunteers, registered nurses, social workers, home health aides, and spiritual care coordinator (also known as the interdisciplinary team). For each patient and family, the interdisciplinary team writes a care plan with the patient/family that is used to make sure the patient and family receive the care they need from our team. All visits are based on the patient and family needs as described in the care plan and the condition of the patient during the course of illness. The frequency of volunteers and spiritual care is often dependent upon the family request and the availability of these services. Travel requirements and other factors may cause some variation in how many patients each hospice staff serves.
Is Summit View Hospice available after hours?
Yes. Hospice care is available ‘on-call’ after the administrative office has closed, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Our nurses are available to respond to a call for help within minutes, if necessary.
How does Summit View Hospice work to keep the patient comfortable?
Many patients may have pain and other serious symptoms as illness progresses. Our staff receives special training to care for all types of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort and distress. Because keeping the patient comfortable and pain-free is an important part of hospice care, our program has developed ways to measure the comfort level of the patient during the course of their stay in hospice. Our staff works with the patient’s physician to make sure that medication, therapies, and procedures are designed to achieve the goals outlined in the patient’s care plan. The care plan is reviewed frequently to make sure any changes and new goals are in the plan.
Can I be cared for by Summit View Hospice if I reside in a nursing facility, group home, or other type of long-term care facility?
Yes. Our hospice services can be provided to a terminally ill person wherever they live. This means a patient living in a nursing facility or long-term care facility can receive specialized visits from our nurses, home health aides, social workers, volunteers and spiritual care coordinator in addition to other care and services provided by the nursing facility. Summit View Hospice and the nursing home or long-term care facility will have a written agreement in place in order for us to serve residents of the facility.
Who pays for Hospice Care?
Both Medicare and Medicaid cover 100% of the cost of care received from a licensed hospice provider. Additionally, many private insures provide a hospice benefit. Covered benefits include doctor and nurse services, equipment, supplies, medications to control pain or other symptoms, hospice aide and homemaker services, physical and occupational therapy, and social worker services.
**However Summit View Hospice provides in home hospice care for citizens of Northern Nevada, regardless of their ability to pay.
Does Summit View Hospice provide medical equipment and/or supplies?
Yes, hospice care includes doctor and nurse services, medical equipment, supplies, drugs to control pain or other symptoms, hospice aide and homemaker services, physical and occupational therapy, and social worker services. Summit View Hospice also offers dietary counseling, grief and loss counseling for you and your family.
Do state and federal reviewers inspect and evaluate Summit View Hospice?
There are state licensure requirements that must be met by all hospice programs in order for them to deliver care. In addition, hospices must comply with federal regulations in order to be approved for reimbursement under Medicare. Hospices must periodically undergo inspection to be sure they are meeting regulatory standards in order to maintain their license to operate and the certification that permits Medicare reimbursement.
Summit View Hospice believes in going above-and-beyond the standards, and maintains National Accreditation status through the Community Health Accreditation Program. Our team leaders also carry additional advanced certifications in hospice medicine and nursing.
What role does the Summit View Hospice volunteer serve?
Our volunteers are generally available to provide different types of support to patients and their loved ones including running errands, preparing light meals, staying with a patient to give family members a break, and lending emotional support and companionship to patients and family members.
Because hospice volunteers spend time in patients’ and families’ homes, they must complete an application and interview process to assure they are the right person for this type of volunteer work. In addition, Summit View Hospice has an organized training program for our volunteers. Areas covered by these training programs often include understanding hospice, confidentiality, working with families, listening skills, signs and symptoms of approaching death, loss and grief and bereavement support.
How can I be sure that quality hospice care is provided?
Many hospices use tools to let them see how well they are doing in relation to quality hospice standards. In addition, most programs use family satisfaction surveys to get feedback on the performance of their programs. To help hospice programs in making sure they give quality care and service, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has developed recommended standards entitled ‘Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs’ as one way of ensuring quality.
There are also voluntary accreditation organizations that evaluate hospice programs to protect consumers. These organizations survey hospices to see whether they are providing care that meets defined quality standards. These reviews consider the customary practices of the hospice, such as policies and procedures, medical records, personal records, evaluation studies, and in many cases also include visits to patients and families currently under care of that hospice program. A hospice program may volunteer to obtain accreditation from one of these organizations.
Provided by NHPCO