Hospice care is a specialized type of palliative care for people living with terminal illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both patient and the family. Hospice emphasizes quality rather than length of life. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death: it affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice enables patients and families to make the best decision for themselves.
Patients who have a life-limiting illness if the disease runs its normal course, as certified by a physician, and have elected treatment goals directed towards relief of symptoms, rather than cure of the disease.
Hospice care can be funded through Medicare/Medi-Cal, private insurance, HMOs or other managed care organizations, and private pay arrangements for those who qualify.
Although a curative solution will no longer be pursued, hospice care means redirecting the primary focus of care to ensuring patients live the rest of their lives with comfort, dignity, support, and compassion.