FAQs About Hospice Care in NJ

Choosing hospice care in NJ is a difficult and sensitive issue.  Below are some common questions and answers about hospice care.

Q:  Does choosing to receive hospice care hasten end-of-life?

A:  Hospice does nothing to hasten or delay end-of-life.  Even where there is no cure, there is much healing that can take place. Hospice care focuses on providing relief of symptoms so patients can focus on quality of life. 

Q: Is hospice only for cancer patients?

A: The caring VNA hospice team is skilled at managing both cancer and other chronic illnesses. Over 58% of hospice patients have chronic, non-cancer diagnoses according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Q:  Is hospice only for patients close to death?

A:  Under Medicare guidelines patients with a six-month or less prognosis are eligible for hospice care in NJ.  A patient may be discharged from hospice at any time and readmitted at a later date as well. 

Q:  Will New Jersey hospice care cost the patient and family a fortune?

A:  Hospice is covered by most insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid and commercial plans. Most HMO patients revert to Medicare for coverage. 

Q: Is it difficult to get a person on hospice care?

A: It only takes one phone call to VNA hospice at 800-400-0981.  VNA hospice takes care of the rest— patient assessment, contact with the patient physician, medications, hospice team care plan, any medical equipment and family support. 

Q: Is hospice only for the very old?

A: Hospice care serves patients of all ages.  Over 50,000 children die each year in the United States. Less than one percent of children needing hospice care receive it according to Children’s Hospice International. 

Q  Does receiving hospice mean giving up your doctor?

A: Not at all. Medicare benefit encourages doctors to ‘follow’ patients into hospice care.  VNA hospice medical directors work closely with patients’ doctors who remain in the background as consultants. 

Q:  Can patients receive hospice care in a hospital?

A:  Hospice care can be provided wherever the patient resides— in the hospital, at home in New Jersey, in an assisted living facility or nursing home. 

Q: Do hospice services end when the patient dies?

A:  No, hospice is there for the entire family.  An important part of hospice care is grief and bereavement family support that continues for 13 months following a death.  In addition, VNA hospice offers FREE community bereavement groups NJ residents can participate in, as well as special bereavement activities throughout the year. 

Q: Doesn't going on hospice care mean that a family has given up hope?

A: End-of-life hospice care means redefining hope— there may no longer be a cure but there is hope, the opportunity to be pain free and to spend quality time with loved ones. 

 Hospice care is your entitlement. You do have a choice. 

To learn more about our VNA hospice services in New Jersey and how we can assist with the needs of you and your loved ones or if you have questions, click here or call us at 800-400-0981 for more information. To find a VNA Health Group location near you click here.

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