What is Hospice

Hospice is not a place; it's a well-managed system of care for patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. The focus is on life and living each day to the fullest. With pain and symptoms under control, people enjoy each day, while finishing the business of their lives: financial, legal, emotional, and spiritual.

Hospice is comprehensive care that is provided by a coordinated team of doctors, nurses, social workers, grief counselors, chaplains, hospice aides, and volunteers.

All services are provided at home, if possible. If home is in an assisted living community, or a skilled nursing facility (nursing home), then hospice can be provided there as well. Butte Hospice works with a number of excellent assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in the area.

The hospice team continues to support the family with grief counseling and bereavement support for at least a year after death.

The Medicare Hospice Benefit

The following hospice care costs are covered in full by the Medicare Hospice Benefit:

  • Skilled nursing services
  • Volunteer services
  • Physician services (physicians specially trained in symptom management who make home visits, when necessary)
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Medications for comfort and symptom control
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Skilled therapy (for example, physical or speech therapy)
  • Hospice aid and homemaker services (bathing, housekeeping, time off for caregivers)
  • Social Worker services (for example, finding resources, helping family cope)
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Bereavement support for the family

IMedicare also provides other unique levels of hospice care, as well:

  • Respite Care: relief for the care giver for up to five days, with care provided in a local Skilled Nursing Facility.
  • Continuous Care: during a patient's medical crisis, care may be provided for up to 24 hours a day until crisis symptoms are under control.

If you qualify for Medicare, you have already paid for this coverage! For you, hospice care is usually covered 100%. If you have insurance coverage other than Medicare, we would be happy to check your coverage for you.

When there is no insurance or insurance with unaffordable co-payments or deductibles, we are able to provide some patients and families with low cost or no cost hospice care. Thank you to our generous donors who allow us to serve our community, regardless of their ability to pay.