Admission into a hospice program is a matter of choice. Individuals and families considering hospice care often have many questions. Here are answers to a few, but please call us at (716) 439-4417 if you wish to speak to a hospice professional.
Who qualifies for hospice care?
Niagara Hospice provides care to Niagara County residents whose prognosis is approximately six months or less, if the illness runs its normal course, regardless of diagnosis. Many patients live beyond six months due to comfort measures Niagara Hospice can provide. If curative treatment is no longer effective and you desire a treatment plan based on comfort and dignity, hospice care may be appropriate for you.You need not try to determine if you qualify - our intake representatives are available to provide an informational consultation at no cost and with no obligation to accept services. Don't be another who says: "I wish I had called Hospice sooner."
Who can make a referral?
Anyone can call Niagara Hospice at (716) 439-4417 or 716-HOSPICE to obtain information or to make a referral for hospice care. If you or a family member call, we will ask permission to contact the primary physician to verify that hospice may be appropriate and to request medical information.
What happens once a referral is made?
When a referral is made, a Niagara Hospice representative will gather basic information from the individual by phone, and then offer a home visit by an intake representative to fully explain the hospice program. With their consent, Niagara Hospice will contact their physician to obtain medical information and to update their physician on the referral. This is all done free of charge and with no obligation.
If a person is found to be appropriate for hospice care after the initial confidential consultation, a physician order is requested for admission into the program. If you think hospice may be right for you or a loved one, simply call (716) 439-4417 and we will do the rest.
When should I call Hospice?
If you have been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening illness, it's time to find out about hospice services so an informed decision can be made regarding your choices. Call us at (716) 439-4417 to get the information you need.
Early hospice referrals enable the hospice team to provide support to patients and primary caregivers at the earliest that guidelines permit. As disease progression occurs, your goals can be met and issues that might arise can be addressed immediately, before they become more difficult to remedy. Unfortunately, too many patients and families have said they wished they had requested hospice services much sooner.
What about payment?
Most health insurers including Medicare, Medicaid, Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans and the Veteran's Administration (VA) have hospice coverage. No one is denied hospice care due to inbability to pay. Care for patients without insurance or with limited insurance is paid for privately and can be based on a sliding fee scale. Niagara Hospice raises funds to help off-set costs of the under-insured and to support the mission of Niagara Hospice.
Payment for hospice services not provided in the patient's home
Niagara Hospice maintains service care contracts with many hospitals, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities and adult care facilities. While the services of Niagara Hospice typically involve no expense to the patient, each contract provider may charge fees associated with room and board and/or services provided for care of the patient's unrelated terminal diagnosis. Each contract and setting is unique. Medicare and Medicaid regulations prevent hospice providers from providing care in non-contracted facilities.
Patients considering hospice care should ask their respective insurance carriers about the impact of accessing hospice either through Medicare and Medicaid, or through private insurance. Each carrier may have limitations of care and/or out-of-pocket expenses. Niagara Hospice personnel will make every effort to ensure all patients are fully informed about their options prior to making a decision about hospice care.
Niagara Hospice is the only hospice provider in Niagara County. Our dedication to providing the highest level of care is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). The ACHC has awarded Niagara Hospice with its accreditation for hospice care for demonstrating a commitment to providing quality care and services to consumers through compliance with ACHC's nationally recognized standards for accreditation.