Frequently Asked Questions

We're here to answer your questions.

If you are researching hospice care for yourself or someone you love, we know you have a lot of questions. Additionally, we know there is a lot of confusion about what hospice really is and how it all works. If any of your questions or concerns aren't addressed below, please don't hesitate to get in touch — we are always more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions2023-11-09T10:53:03-05:00
Is hospice a place you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care providing medical, emotional and spiritual care focusing on comfort and quality of life.

Is hospice only for the last days of life?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

Patients and their families can receive hospice care for six months or longer, depending on the course of the illness. Hospice care is most beneficial when there is sufficient time to manage symptoms and establish a trusting relationship with both the patient and the family.

Is hospice care is very expensive?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

Many people who use hospice are over 65 and can take advantage of The Medicare Hospice Benefit. This covers most hospice services and requires very little, if any, out of pocket expense. Most insurance providers also cover hospice care. Those without the ability to pay will not be turned away but their care underwritten by community donations – the Blue Ridge Hospice Patient Care Fund.

Does hospice only care for patients in their homes?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

Most people choose to die at home surrounded by their loved ones. Blue Ridge Hospice cares for individuals wherever they call home, including skilled care, assisted living facilities, and group homes.

Is hospice is just for the elderly?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

Hospice serves anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age, including infants and children. Blue Ridge Hospice offers clinical staff members trained in pediatric hospice care.

Can families be involved in the care for people with life-limiting illnesses?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

Hospice involves families and offers professional support and training to help them care for their loved ones.

Does hospice care start when someone is close to dying and ends at death?2021-03-11T16:46:46-05:00

The focus of hospice care starts at the acute phase of the terminal illness and extends beyond the patient’s death to include bereavement care and grief support for the family. Blue Ridge Hospice offers grief counseling to the community at-large serving churches, schools, and the workplace.

Is hospice only for people with cancer?2022-06-27T10:15:24-04:00

No. Blue Ridge Hospice cares for all patients with a terminal illness. More than half of hospice patients nationwide have diagnoses other than cancer. Patients with chronic illnesses like emphysema, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular and neuromuscular diseases, ALS, HIV/AIDS, and other life-limiting diseases are also cared for.

Visit What Is Hospice? for more information.

If I choose hospice will I die sooner?2022-06-27T10:15:24-04:00

No. Patients will live as long as their illness will allow. Hospice care will ensure you’re comfortable, your pain is controlled, and your quality of life is as good as it can be. Studies show that some hospice patients sometimes live longer than expected. 

Does choosing hospice mean giving up?2022-06-27T10:15:24-04:00

No. Choosing hospice may mean you’re no longer seeking curative measures, but the hospice approach will help you make choices, achieve your goals of care and work towards more comfort and quality for the remainder of your life.

Hospice provides comfort and gives the patient the ability to live life as fully as possible when a cure is no longer possible. The gift of hospice is its capacity to help families see how much can be shared at the end of life through personal and spiritual connections often left behind. Most look back upon their hospice experiences with gratitude and the knowledge that everything possible was done towards a peaceful death for their loved one.

Hospice places the individual and family at the center of the care-planning process and provides high-quality pain management and symptom control to provide the most fulfilling life for those months and days that remain.

Is hospice care covered by insurance?2022-06-27T10:15:24-04:00

Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances cover hospice services. Read more info about Medicare Hospice benefits here. For patients without insurance or other programs to help with costs (and qualify based on their resources), Blue Ridge Hospice offers the Patient Care Fund, a charity care program so everyone can benefit from hospice care.

Visit Paying For Hospice for more information.

Will I still see my primary doctor if I choose hospice care?2022-06-27T10:15:24-04:00

Hospice physicians work closely with the patient’s doctor to determine an individualized plan of care. Our board-certified hospice physicians and interdisciplinary team members will work with your primary physician to reach your and your family’s goals for your care. You can continue to keep your primary care appointments, but the Blue Ridge Hospice physicians also make home visits.

Visit Your Care Team for more information.

Can I receive hospice care at a nursing home?2022-06-27T10:15:23-04:00

The Blue Ridge Hospice interdisciplinary team will care for you where you live whether it’s at your home, a family’s residence, a nursing home, or assisted living facility.

Visit Where To Find Us for more information.


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Don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything we can do for you. You never need a referral to talk to us, and the sooner you call, the more we can help.

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