What is the difference between Palliative Care and Hospice?

Palliative care is a medical specialty focusing on pain and symptom management during curative and/or restorative treatments, and is provided in whatever setting the patient calls home. This extra support does not replace current clinical care, but consults patients and families on supportive measures dealing with physical comfort, education on disease process, medical goal discussions, and community resources.

Hospice care also focuses on pain and symptom management, but only when the disease is life-limiting. Hospice offers a full interdisciplinary team that provides support encompassing full/holistic needs of patients and their families. Hospice can also be provided in any setting the patient calls home.

When should you call us for Palliative Support?

  • When facing chronic or serious illness
  • When experiencing pain, or any other uncomfortable symptoms, during curative treatments for an illness.
  • When support is needed for medication management
  • When you need help with community resources during treatments
  • When you need guidance in end-of-life planning

When is it time to transition to hospice?

  • When your doctor or healthcare provider tells you that curative treatments are no longer possible, and it is important to focus on treating symptoms and staying comfortable.
  • When you are frequently visiting the hospital or Emergency Room for out of control symptoms.
  • When caregivers or loved ones are exhausted and need a Respite.
  • When you and caregivers/loved ones can benefit from emotional support in end-of-life planning and grief.

Can I still use my own doctor?

Yes. Hospice of South Georgia can work with your primary care physician to build a plan of care to fit your needs. We also have a physician as our medical director, who is experienced in Hospice and Palliative Care that can serve as your doctor.

How is palliative care and hospice paid for?

We at Hospice of South Georgia recognize and understand that managing finances or insurance policy is intimidating and stressful. We are committed to easing your fears and stress, and encourage you to contact us for any financial questions: 229-433-7000

– Palliative Care:

  • Hospice of South Georgia currently provides Palliative support through our charitable care, and is provided at no cost to our patients.

– Hospice Care:

  • Medicare
    • The Medicare Hospice Benefit covers the full cost of hospice care. To elect the Medicare Hospice Benefit, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A. If you elect to use the Medicare Hospice Benefit, you do not give up your other Medicare benefits. You can still use all appropriate Medicare Part A and Part B benefits for the treatment of health problems not related to your hospice diagnosis. When standard Medicare Part A and Part B benefits are used for conditions not related to your hospice care, you are responsible for Medicare’s deductible and coinsurance amounts.
    • Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicare will not pay for curative treatments or room and board fees while receiving hospice care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or Residential care at our Langdale Hospice House.
  • Medicaid
    • Like Medicare, Medicaid covers the full cost of hospice services. The only difference is payment coverage regarding alternative placement. Medicaid will help cover room and board for nursing home placement, but not at assisted living facilities or at our Langdale Hospice House.
  • Private Insurance
    • Most insurance companies provide a hospice benefit. Each policy has different co-pays, deductibles, and limits of coverage. Please contact our Admissions team to help you with any questions regarding your insurance coverage.
  • No Insurance/Inability to pay
    • As a nonprofit, community-based organization, we at Hospice of South Georgia are dedicated to providing care regardless of ability to pay. We will deliver hospice services to anyone who do not have resources to pay or not eligible for insurance.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

-While we encourage you to have open conversations about your wishes to your physician, a doctor’s referral is not required. A patient, a family member, a friend, or any supporting medical providers can contact us for a referral.

  • To refer, please use our PATIENT REFERRAL (Click to view/download) form for information and medical records needed. If you are referring yourself, or a family member, please call our admissions team at 229-433-7000 to set up an assessment or to discuss our services.

How do patients and families benefit from having an inpatient care center, and why is it so important?

While the majority of our patients choose to receive care in their home, our Langdale Hospice House offers an elevated level of comfort for patients to experience the best quality of life possible.

Here’s why:

1. Symptom management- there are times when patients need specific inpatient attention to pain or another discomfort. The hospice house can treat symptoms within a few days, and replace needless visits to the ER or hospital.
2. Respite: a break for caregivers- care-giving is 24/7, and our mission is to support them during their loved one’s care. The hospice house gives care-givers an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate without worry!
3. Other advantages:

  • Private rooms and bathrooms for each patient
  • A beautiful, home-like setting
  • Hospice and Palliative Care is our ONLY focus, with many of our professionals certified in hospice care
  • Extensive hospice presence for symptom management, spiritual/emotional support, and grief support, which allows a rapid response to any needs.

Click here to learn more about our inpatient care center- Langdale Hospice House

Hospice of South Georgia encourages you to contact us with any questions or requests for more information

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