Frequently Asked Questions | Hospice Care in California | St. Liz HOSPICE

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by St. Liz HOSPICE, and while we make an effort to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in it for any purpose. Any reference or dependence you apply on such information is expressly at your own risk and your own decision.

In no event will St. Liz HOSPICE be held liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of the website and the information contained herein.

Outbound Links

Through the St. Liz HOSPICE website, you can link to other websites which are not under the control of St. Liz HOSPICE. We have no control over the nature, content, and availability of outbound third-party websites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them. St. Liz HOSPICE remains independent from third-party website links.

Access to the Website

St. Liz HOSPICE will strive to keep the website up and running continually for your access. However, St. Liz HOSPICE will take no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues outside of our control.

Copyright

The copyright of this website and its contents belong to St. Liz HOSPICE. Any form of redistribution or reproduction of part or the entirety of the contents is prohibited except for:

  • Printing or Downloading to a local hard disk for personal or non-commercial use
  • Copying the content to individual third parties for their personal use, provided that you acknowledge the website as the source of the material

Unless there is express written permission from St. Liz HOSPICE to distribute or commercially exploit the content, you may not reproduce the contents from this website.

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Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how St. Liz HOSPICE uses and protects any information you give to St. Liz HOSPICE via the website’s online forms. St. Liz HOSPICE is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected and preserved.

When you are asked to provide certain information by which you can be identified, rest assured that such information will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement. St. Liz HOSPICE may change this policy from time to time by updating this webpage. It is your responsibility to check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective as of January 9, 2023.

Information You Provide to St. Liz HOSPICE

On our online forms, we may collect the following information:

  • name or name of your client
  • mailing/delivery address
  • contact information
  • email address
  • telephone number

The information collected will help St. Liz HOSPICE fulfill the services that are due to you. We also collect information through the website for the following purposes:

  • Internal Record Keeping
  • Client/Customer Feedback to improve services and/or products
  • Promotional emails about our services, special offers, or other information which you may find interesting using the email address that you have provided to us
  • To contact you for market research purposes

Security of Information

We are committed to ensuring that the information you submitted to St. Liz HOSPICE is secure. To prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic, and managerial measures to secure the information we collect online.

The Use of Cookies

A cookie is a small file that asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. With your permission on our browser settings, the file is added and the cookie helps analyze web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes, and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used as this helps St. Liz HOSPICE analyze data about web page traffic which will be used to improve our website in fulfilling customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is subsequently removed from the system.

Please note that a cookie will NOT give us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us through the St. Liz HOSPICE website.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can modify your browser settings to decline cookies once you access certain websites. Be advised that when you do decline cookies, it may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website features.

Links to other websites

Through the St. Liz HOSPICE website, you can link to other websites which are not under the control of St. Liz HOSPICE. We have no control over the nature, content, and availability of outbound third-party websites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them. St. Liz HOSPICE remains independent from third-party website links.

Security of Your Personal Information

St. Liz HOSPICE will not sell, distribute or forward your personal information to third parties unless we have your express and written permission or are required by law to disclose your information.

You may request details of personal information which we currently hold under the Data Protection Act of 1998. Requesting this information will require a small fee. If you would like a copy of the information we have on you, please contact us.

If you find that any information we are currently holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please advise us of the corrections accordingly.

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Notice of Nondiscrimination & Communication Assistance

St. Liz HOSPICE complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity). St. Liz HOSPICE does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity).

St. Liz HOSPICE:

  • Provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as:
    • Qualified sign language interpreters
    • Written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats)
  • Provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as:
    • Qualified interpreters
    • Information written in other languages
  • If you need these services, don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you believe that St. Liz HOSPICE has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), you can file a grievance with:

St. Liz HOSPICE

1910 W Sunset Blvd., Ste. 420, Los Angeles, CA 90026

213-365-6499

888-415-5250

contact.admin@stlizhospice.com

You can file a grievance in person or by mail, fax, or email. If you need help filing a grievance, St. Liz HOSPICE is available to help you.

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/portal/lobby.jsf, or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, SW Room 509F, HHH Building Washington, D.C. 20201

1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD)

Complaint forms are available at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/file/index.html.

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Notice of Privacy Practices

Individuals have the right to know how their protected health information may be used and disclosed, and what their privacy rights are. The Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) provides individuals with this information.
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AN INTRODUCTION

What is Hospice?
For patients that have a life-limiting illness, hospice care is the best level of care. Hospice focuses on caring, not curing, and in most cases, care is provided in the patient’s home. Hospice care can also be provided in Board & Care Homes, Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities, and other Long-Term Care Facilities. The main objective of hospice care is to provide the quality of life and dignity for a patient who has a life-limiting illness.
How does hospice care work?
Typically, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps make decisions for the terminally ill individual. The hospice staff members make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. The hospice team develops a care plan that meets each patient’s pain management and symptom control needs. Support for family caregivers is also assessed throughout the care period. While the range of services provided will vary depending on each situation and the specific needs, hospice staff are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How is hospice care paid for?
The Medicare hospice benefit covers most people receiving hospice care. This benefit covers virtually all aspects of hospice care with little or no out-of-pocket expense to the patient or family. As a result, the financial burdens usually associated with caring for a terminally ill patient are virtually non-existent. In addition, most private health plans and Medicaid in most states cover hospice services.
What about medical equipment and medications?
Medical equipment and medications needed for the patient’s care are normally covered by hospice, except those that are listed in Medicare’s guidelines for non-covered items. In cases where families opt to continue with some medications not recommended by hospice, the hospice team has discussed and assessed to determine how it will affect the overall outcome of hospice care.
Who makes up the hospice team?

The interdisciplinary team usually consists of:

  • The patient’s personal physician
  • Hospice physician (or medical director)
  • Nurses
  • Home Health Aides
  • Social Workers
  • Spiritual Care Providers or Other Counselors
  • Bereavement Professionals
  • Speech, Physical, and/or other occupational therapists
Does Hospice Care help terminally ill individuals by speeding up the dying process?

No, hospice does not help terminally ill individuals speed up the dying process. In fact, some studies even suggest that hospice care may even extend life. A 2007 report by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) found that patients with certain terminal diseases who chose hospice lived an average of 29 days longer than similar patients who did not receive hospice. Some factors that contribute to this longer survival rate, according to the NHPCO Researchers, are the following:

  • Patients are more likely to receive additional monitoring and treatments only available through hospice.
  • The patient’s desire to live is enhanced due to the constant attention given by hospice providers to their emotional well-being and physical health (like managing and treating pain).
  • Over-treatment is more likely avoided, which poses a huge risk in an individual’s mortality.

The primary goal of hospice is maintaining the dignity and quality of life of the patient. This means that hospice providers have to ensure that every day is a good day for the patient.

Do hospice providers usually suggest discontinuing some medication that the patient has been using long before hospice? Will this discontinuation of the medications speed up the dying process?
No, discontinuing the use of medications that patients regularly take does not hasten death, in general. The goal of hospice care is to maintain the dignity and quality of life of the patient. This includes the evaluation of the patient’s current medication. Any medication taken before hospice care that does not contribute to the patient’s well-being will be discontinued. We don’t want to overwhelm the body’s functions by having all those unnecessary medications. However, every individual has their own uniqueness. Therefore, if the hospice team finds that some medication can still be beneficial to the patient, then those medications can still be continued.
Morphine is one pain medication hospice providers often use, isn’t morphine speed up the dying process?
No, morphine does not hasten death if administered properly under the direction of a hospice physician and the support of the hospice team, including family members of the patient. One must understand that when people are nearing their last stage of life, some may experience extreme pain, anxiety, agitation, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), etc., and morphine can effectively alleviate all of these distressing symptoms and provide what most people would want at this stage, which is comfort and quality of life.
Some say that a hospice-eligible patient cannot stay on hospice for more than six months. Is this true?
No, it is false. An eligible hospice patient has an unlimited number of days to stay on hospice, provided that the patient still meets the eligibility criteria set by Medicare for hospice care. Most likely, this myth became prevalent in the industry due to the numerous times it occurred. Considering the number of occurrences, this myth somehow evolved and became a standard or a truth. While it is true that this is happening in the hospice industry, it doesn’t mean that that is how Medicare’s hospice program works. That is why it is essential to choose the right hospice agency to provide your loved ones the hospice care they need.
My mom was hospitalized and before discharge, the hospitalist recommended to consider hospice for my mom. After discharge, I asked around, did my research, and called my mom’s PCP for an MD order for hospice evaluation. The PCP told me he won’t order any hospice evaluation if it is not his preferred hospice company. Is this allowed?

No. This kind of behavior is unacceptable. First, there is what we call “Patient’s Rights”. If the PCP doesn’t want to order a Hospice Evaluation order for your mom unless it is the MD’s preferred hospice agency, the MD violated Title 42 CFR Part 418.52, and the MDs behavior is an action reportable to Medicare and a Condition of Participation violation for the hospice agency the MD prefers.

One of the fundamental rights of a Patient is the right to choose which hospice agency he/she will enroll with no matter what the MD tells you. What the MD did (assuming this case scenario is accurate) could be called blackmail, coercion, intimidation etc. That’s why one good indicator in choosing a good hospice agency is to listen between the words spoken. If there is a “push” and/or “condition” before anything else??? Like in your case, run away from these people. Always remember, an MD, case manager, discharge managers, etc., can only recommend. The general rule is these people is to at least give you 3 choices (options).

To be fair on the other end of the spectrum, there are some MDs that “recommends” a hospice agency because of the trust and confidence that the agency earned while serving the MD’s patient in the past. Because of the MD’s past experiences, he would go for people he/she knows that delivers the best result for his/her patient. This is called professional “trust and confidence”.

For St. Liz Hospice, the professional relationship that we’ve developed over years of hard work is the principle that would really enhance patient care. In fact, this scenario is the best because if we fail to meet the MD’s standards of care, then there might not be a “next referral” for us.

If you’re in a situation like this, do give us a call and we’ll be glad to guide and help you through the complexities of hospice admission criteria, insurance, placements, etc.