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Hospice Care in Michigan

What is hospice?

It is health care that helps patients whose disease doesn't respond to curative treatment.  They may choose hospice for palliative care.

What is palliative care?

It provides comfort, dignity and quality of life.  it helps control pain and other symptoms.  it also deals with psychological, social and spiritual issues.  The goal is the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.

What does hospice include?

Doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, home health aides, bereavement counselors and trained volunteers.  They all work together to provide care.   They help patients and their families according to their wishes.

Where does hospice care take place?

Wherever the patient resides - ideally at home.  It may be in a hospice residence, a nursing home or even a hospital.  The patient may move between home and a facility as their condition required.  Hospice provides the most effective care in the best environment.

Is hospice care concerned only with my physical needs?

No. Hospice address physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.  It must also meet the needs of the family.  This is done through a coordinated plan of care, in consultation with a patient and family.  Hospice also includes bereavement support.  This helps people who have lost loved ones.  Michigan law requires hospice to provide this at no cost for at least a year after the loss of a loved one.

What are my rights as a hospice patient?

Hospices must meet these standards.  These rights are protected under Michigan and federal law.

  • Medical care must be supervised by a physician.  It must be provided or supervised by a team made up of the doctor, a registered nurse, a social worker and a spiritual care or other counselor.
  • The care plan must address the specific needs of the patient and family.
  • Medical and nursing care must be available 24 hours a day.
  • The patient must have access to speech, physical, and occupational therapy.
  • The patient and family must get a statement outlining the rules and regulations.
  • The patient and family are entitled to know how to resolve problems they may have with the hospice.

A patient in a hospice residence has additional rights:

  • Meal plans.
  • Visitors of any age, at any hour, as desired.
  • A place for family members to spend the might.
  • The residence must comply with state and federal regulations.  This included fire prevention, infection control, and sanitation.

A hospice patient is entitled to the same level of expert qualified care as they would get from any other health care provider.

Will my insurance pay for hospice?

Individual plans vary.  You must be offered hospice coverage whenever you sign up for or renew health insurance.  You must also be informed about any such coverage in your plan.  Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance.