What is hospice care?
Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. Hospice care services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. To help families, hospice care also provides counseling, respite care and practical support.
Unlike other medical care, the focus on hospice care isn’t to cure the underlying disease. The goal is to support the highest quality of life, while providing patients with dignity, comfort and peace.
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. You and your family members are the most important part of a team that may include doctors, nurses or nurse practitioners, counselors, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, hospice aides, homemakers and volunteers.
Where is hospice care provided?
Most hospice care is provided at home – with a family member typically serving as the primary caregiver. However, hospice care is also available at hospitals, senior living communities, assisted living communities, and dedicated hospice centers. Although 90 percent of hospice care is delivered in the home setting, patients sometimes meet criteria for hospital admission for short-term care. For instance, if a symptom can’t be adequately managed by the hospice care team in a home setting, a hospital stay may be needed. Knoxville Hospital & Clinics provides inpatient hospice care and partners with your primary hospice provider.
How is the cost of inpatient hospice care covered?
The cost of inpatient hospital care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and most private insurance plans. Copayment and deductibles may apply. If you need inpatient hospital care, your hospice provider will make the arrangements and explain payment options and any deductibles or copayments required.
Inpatient Hospice Care
Whenever a patient cannot get adequate treatment at home and needs inpatient care, Knoxville Hospital & Clinics has a professional staff that is available 24 hours a day to provide medical care in a supportive environment for the patient.
- General inpatient care is necessary when there is an onset of uncontrolled pain and symptoms that cannot be managed successfully at home or needs more intensive treatment than what is provided in residential inpatient care. It can be due to the frequency or aggressive nature of the pain or symptoms. It is still considered short-term care, so as soon as the pain and symptoms are manageable, the patient is discharged.
- Respite inpatient care is offered for hospice patients when primary caregivers need a break, which is normal and often necessary for the physical and emotional well-being of the caregiver. This too is short-term care, usually five days or less. It can be physically and emotionally demanding to take care of a loved one who is in the final stages of life. Sometimes the only way for primary caregivers to continue to provide quality hospice care for a patient is to allow themselves to have a rest or respite.
- Final care is for patients who are unable to remain at home during the last days of life.
Knoxville Hospital & Clinic’s Inpatient Hospice Care
- We provide patients and families with a compassionate and supportive environment during the hospital stay.
- Special accommodations are made for the comfort of the family, including an adjoining room for family members. It is furnished with a sofa, table and chairs, television, a refrigerator and microwave. Food can be brought in and stored in the refrigerator.
- Overnight guests are welcome and will find ample accommodations.
- Shower facilities and restrooms are available for family members to use.
- Telephones are located in the patient rooms. All calls to the patient go through the nurses’ station and not directly into the patient’s room. Calls are transferred according to the patient/family wishes.
- Complimentary WiFi access is available throughout the hospital.
- Patients may bring any personal items, including clothing, although hospital gowns are provided. Personalizing the room makes the patient room feel more like home. Families are welcome to bring in items such as photos and mementos.
- The Cafe is within easy walking distance from the hospice suite. Vending machines are available 24 hours a day. Guest meals may be ordered from the Cafe for a separate fee and delivered to the hospice suite.
- Hospice staff continue to visit the patient, and work together with the hospital staff to maintain continuity in the plan of care.
- Hospital staff provide the direct care for the patient.
- Visiting hours are unrestricted for any age or number of guests
- Use of the hospice suite is subject to availability at time of admission.