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Hospice Care - Topic Overview

Who is involved with hospice?

Most of the time, hospice care is provided in your home. Family members or loved ones may look after you much of the time. The hospice team will work with them to give you the best care possible. Someone from your hospice team will likely visit you for an hour or so once a week or more.

In addition to a doctor and nurses, hospice teams usually include:

Some hospice teams also include:

Some people worry about losing touch with their regular, trusted doctor. But he or she can work with others on your team to stay involved in your care.

Are you eligible for hospice services?

Usually, these two things must be true for you to be eligible for hospice care:

  1. Your condition cannot be cured. This is called a terminal illness.
  2. Your doctor expects that you will live 6 months or less if your illness runs its normal course.

Some people live longer than expected. If you live longer than 6 months, you can continue with hospice care. If your illness gets better, you can stop getting hospice care. You may no longer qualify for it.

Hospice care is generally paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Care may also be available to those unable to pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about hospice:

Getting treatment:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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