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Find a Hospice or Palliative Care Provider

Need to find a hospice provider? Searching for hospice and palliative care options for loved ones is a common, but overwhelming experience. Use our hospice locator, hospice and palliative care FAQs, and more resources to make your experience that much simpler.

Hospice and Palliative Care FAQs

Have a question about hospice care or how to find a hospice provider? See our most commonly asked questions below or contact us directly.

Hospice and palliative care are two essential branches of healthcare that focus on improving the quality of life for individuals facing serious illnesses. While they share common goals, there are crucial distinctions between the two. Hospice care is typically provided to individuals in the final stages of a terminal illness, emphasizing comfort and support for both the patient and their family. Palliative care, on the other hand, can be initiated at any stage of a serious illness and is aimed at alleviating symptoms, managing pain, and enhancing overall well-being. Understanding the differences between these two forms of care is vital in making informed healthcare decisions for yourself or your loved ones. Explore this guide to gain insight into the unique characteristics and benefits of each approach to end-of-life and serious illness care.

Hospice is a compassionate method of caring for terminally ill people. Hospice is a medically directed, interdisciplinary team-managed program of services that focuses on the patient/family as the unit of care. Hospice care is palliative rather than curative, with an emphasis on pain and symptom control, so that a person may live the last days of life fully, with dignity and comfort, at home or in a home like setting.

Hospice is for those persons who have a life expectancy of six months or less and can no longer benefit from curative treatment. Most hospice patients receive care at home and an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, counselors, therapists, social workers, aides and volunteers provides treatment. The hospice team provides medical care to the patient and support services to the patient and to the patient’s family and friends. Hospice does not attempt to cure, but rather to control pain and other symptoms in order to enable the patient to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice addresses the medical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of the patients and their loved ones. Hospice is provided seven days a week. Patients routinely receive periodic in-home services of a nurse, home health aide, social worker, volunteer and other members of the hospice team.

The law leaves the final decision up to the patient. However, the decision is usually made after discussion with the members of the family, the physician and others.

Hospice care has been shown to usually be less expensive than conventional medical care during the last six months of life. Hospice care is covered by most private health insurance carriers, nationwide by Medicare and in New Mexico and Texas by Medicaid.

The Hospice Medicare Benefit provides:

  • Nursing care on an intermittent basis
  • Physician services
  • Drugs; including outpatient drugs for pain relief & symptom management
  • Hospice aide & homemaker services
  • Medical supplies & appliances
    • Short term inpatient care, including respite services
    • Medical social services
    • Spiritual, dietary & other counseling,
    • Continuous care at home during periods of crisis
    • Trained volunteers & bereavement services

The Medicare Hospice Benefit does not pay for treatments or services unrelated to the terminal illness. Any attending physician charges would continue to be paid through Medicare Part B coverage. However, the standard Medicare benefit still helps pay covered costs necessary to treat an unrelated condition. In addition, the patient may be asked to pay 5 percent of the cost of outpatient drugs or $5 for each prescription, whichever is less and 5 percent of the Medicare rate for respite care.

Absolutely not. Medicare pays for the cost of hospice and Social Security payments are not affected.

HMO’s are not required to provide hospice care though many of them do. Any HMO receiving monthly payments from Medicare must inform Medicare recipients of Medicare certified hospice programs in the area. A hospice patient does not have to leave the HMO, and may continue to receive other HMO benefits not covered by Medicare.

Hospice offers palliative rather than curative care, with an emphasis on pain and symptom management through an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, bereavement counselors, clergy, physical and speech therapists and volunteers who address the medical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs of the patient and their loved ones. Hospice is usually provided in the home, but it can be provided in a nursing home or inpatient facility if available. Upon entrance to a hospice, the hospice team will assess the patient’s needs and prepare an individualized care plan. The care plan will address medication and equipment needs and outline the care to be provided by the family and the hospice. This plan is updated periodically to allow for increased care as the patient’s condition changes. Care giving at home is not always easy and hospice provides telephone consultation on a 24-hour basis and night visits, when appropriate. In addition, hospice volunteers can be provided to run errands or a staff member for needed “respite” care to give family members a break and/or provide companionship to the patient.

Hospice neither hastens nor delays the process of dying. Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a natural part of life. It uses sophisticated methods of pain and symptom control to enable the patient to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice is concerned with the patient’s quality of life up to the time of death.

A patient that elects to be discharged from hospice has the right to re-enter the program so long as they still meet the criteria for hospice eligibility. If a patient is discharged for no longer meeting hospice eligibility may re-enter hospice if their condition changes to the point that they now meet hospice eligibility criteria.

Empowering Caregivers: Access Our Helpful Resources

Navigating the complexities of caregiving and hospice care can be a challenging journey—one that often leaves individuals seeking guidance and support. At TNMHPO, we’re dedicated to easing this path for you. Explore our helpful resources to gain insights, find answers, and discover valuable tools for your caregiving and end-of-life care needs.

Understanding Hospice Care

Providing care can be a multifaceted role, whether during a crisis, a lengthy illness, from afar, or while managing other responsibilities. Gain guidance on various aspects of caregiving, from hands-on care to navigating the healthcare system.

Palliative vs. Hospice Care

Dive into the distinction between palliative and hospice care. These resources will help you understand the nuances of each and make informed decisions regarding your loved one’s care journey.

Understanding Care Giver Stress

Caregiver stress is a real concern. Our resources shed light on the signs of caregiver stress and provide strategies for managing it effectively, ensuring you remain resilient and well.

Advance Directives
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Advance directives are vital documents that express your healthcare preferences and appoint someone to speak on your behalf when you cannot. Learn about these essential tools and their role in guiding your medical care.

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Caregiving for a loved one is a role many of us may find ourselves in unexpectedly at some point in our lives. Our resources offer valuable insights and support for caregivers, helping you navigate your responsibilities with confidence.

Financial Matters
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Serious illness and caregiving often come with financial challenges. Explore resources that detail various sources of financial support and how they may vary from state to state, providing you with the financial guidance you need.

Education Subscription

The TNMHPO Education Subscription is for agencies who wish to provide on-demand education for the entire staff. This subscription is an add-on to a TNMHPO membership and can’t be purchased separately.

A TNMHPO Membership Plus Education Subscription gives members of the Texas New Mexico Hospice & Palliative Care Organization unlimited access to all archived online education for the entire year.  You can provide training to your current staff and utilize these educational opportunities for new employee orientation.  There are courses for every discipline on your hospice team and continuing education units and proof of attendance for Administrators, Nurses, Social Workers, and LPCs.

  • Over 100 recorded online training courses for all hospice disciplines
  • Eligible for Continuing Education Units
  • Customized certificates for CEUs
  • Available on-demand, on your schedule

The TNMHPO Education Subscription is 10% of your annual membership dues plus $650.  

When purchasing your membership, select the “Education Subscription” option in the drop down on the membership product page. 

Already a member? Contact our team directly to upgrade your membership.

For questions regarding our education subscription or its offerings, contact our Director of Operations, Keith Parker, at 512-956-0875 (voice and text) or email at kparker@txnmhospice.org.