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Hospice care can provide support both to the patient and to friends and family members.

When it comes time to arrange for hospice care, this information will help.

What is hospice?

According to Medline, “Hospice care is end-of-life care. A team of health care professionals and volunteers provides it. They give medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and dignity. The caregivers try to control pain and other symptoms so a person can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient’s family.”

Where is hospice care provided?

Hospice care can take place

  • At home
  • At a hospice center
  • In a hospital
  • In a skilled nursing facility

Will Medicare pay for hospice services?

According to Medicare, “If you qualify for hospice care, you and your family will work with your hospice team to set up a plan of care that meets your needs. For more specific information on a hospice plan of care, call your national or state hospice organization. The hospice provider you choose must be Medicare-approved to get Medicare payment. To find out if a certain hospice provider is Medicare-approved, ask your doctor, the hospice provider, your state hospice organization, or your state health department. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) and want to start hospice care, ask your plan to help find a hospice provider in your area. Your plan must help you locate a Medicare-approved hospice provider in your area.”

Read more from Medicare on hospice and respite care.

How can I find a hospice provider?

Your doctor or hospital social worker may be able to connect you with a hospice provider. You can also visit National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and go to the Find a Hospice page for a searchable map by zip code. Also visit the Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice section.

For more information about hospice and dealing with end-of-life issues visit HospiceNet.org.

Looking for advice on choosing hospice care? Visit our Hospice – Get Prepared section.