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Hospice is a specialized type of Palliative Care that provides support and care for people who are nearing the end of their lives due to a terminal illness or condition. The focus of hospice care is to ensure that patients are as comfortable and pain-free as possible, while also providing emotional and spiritual support for them and their families.  It is a focus on quality of life, not quantity.

Hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings, including in a patient's home, a hospice facility, or a hospital.  If a hospitalization for an acute illness that is not recoverable, and death is expected in the next few days, often patients stay in the hospital.  If one is expected to continue on for several days or weeks, then transfer to home or inpatient hospital is pursued. 

The hospice team typically includes doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other healthcare professionals who work together to provide comprehensive care tailored to the patient's individual needs.

Hospice care is often covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans. To be eligible for hospice care, patients must have a terminal illness or condition and a life expectancy of six months or less.

Further Reading

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)

American Cancer Society

Find a local Hospice

National Association for Home Care & Hospice

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