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Frequently Asked Questions

Hospice

When is the right time to contact Active Hospice?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or are facing the difficulties of an advanced illness, now is the time to call. Hospice is intended to help patients and their families achieve a greater peace of mind, quality of life and comfort over the last 6 months of life. Waiting until the last few days or weeks means you won’t get the full benefit from hospice. We commonly hear families express that they wish they would have called sooner.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is a comfort care approach to caring for an individual with a terminal illness. Instead of focusing on traditional, curative measures, hospice services focus on providing care, quality and comfort at the end of life. Hospice helps both patients and their loved ones attain a sense of closure and understanding. This closure provides more lasting memories and enjoyable moments.

Does hospice only serve people who have been diagnosed with cancer?

Cancer is only one of many diagnoses that hospice can help. Others include circulatory or heart disease, dementia, respiratory disease, stroke, kidney disease, liver failure, AIDS, ALS, and Parkinson’s Disease. If you are unsure if your prognosis would qualify for hospice services, give us a call today!

Are patients no longer eligible to receive hospice services after 6 months?

Hospice services are intended to be used over the last 6 months of life based off a terminal prognosis. If you live longer than 6 months, you can continue to receive hospice services. Insurances, like Medicare, will continue to cover hospice services as long as our medical director recertifies that you are still terminally ill.

Can I stop using hospice?

Yes. If at any point you desire to return to a more traditional care or your disease goes into remission, you can opt out of hospice, no questions asked. You may also later reenroll into hospice as long as you meet the criteria and are onboard with the hospice philosophy or comfort care as opposed to curative measures.

Can I continue to see my specialist doctor while on hospice services?

No. Hospice offers an alternative, comfort care approach. Curative measures like those offered by specialty doctors and hospitals are not covered and would not be part of your end of life care plan.

Who pays for hospice care?

We accept all Medicare and Medicare HMO plans with 100% coverage. We are also proud to serve our veterans by providing exceptional care through their VA benefits.

What services does hospice provide?

Hospice provides a variety of physical, emotional and social supports for you and your loved ones. We provide comfort medications, medical equipment, and supplies. We offer massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy and even aromatherapy. We provide counseling, therapy, coping mechanisms and support groups after you pass to help your loved ones through the grieving process.

If I am receiving hospice services, can I also receive help with my daily in home cares such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, companionship, or transportation?

Personal home care is often needed alongside hospice services, and we can help coordinate the two levels of care. A limited number of your personal home care hours may be covered by Medicare while you’re receiving hospice care, but it’s generally paid separately or covered by private insurance or other government programs.

Where are services provided?

Our loving care team will come wherever you are living. This can be in the comfort of your home, a family member’s home, assisted living facility, skilled nursing home or anywhere else you may call home!

Is hospice a place where the terminally ill go to die?

When faced with an end of life scenario, 90% of patients prefer to die in the comfort of their home. Hospice provides patients with this opportunity. While there are stand alone hospice centers through out the United States, the majority of hospice care occurs within the home.

Does a person have to be bed bound in order to qualify for hospice?

The answer is a resounding no. You do not have to be bed bound. Many patients who opt for hospice services continue to lead fulfilling, active, and productive lifestyles. Hospice gives you and your family the control over your end of life experience.

Can I continue to see my primary care physician while on hospice?

While we strongly recommend transferring care to our medical director, you can continue to have your primary physician be your hospice physician. If you are interested, we can arrange a meeting between you, him or her, and Active Hospice to review the requirements necessary to provide the best care possible.

Must I have a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order to qualify for hospice?

While strongly encouraged, a DNR is not required to qualify for hospice services.

Is hospice care only for the last days or weeks of life?

The benefits of hospice extend beyond the final few days or weeks of life. These benefits are intended to be used throughout the last 6 months of a person’s life. People who enroll in hospice for 2 weeks or less often do not have time to experience the added value hospice provides. This value extends beyond the physical symptomatic care. Hospice provides emotional and spiritual support to both the patient and their family. It gives everyone time to prepare for life’s final journey. Hospice helps everyone involved attain that sense of closure and peace needed as the end of life nears.

How can hospice help my family?

Whether it comes after a long fight with a disease or is unexpected, the passing of a loved one is difficult. Hospice can help heal the broken heart that comes with that loss. Our chaplains and social workers can help your family work through these tough emotions before you pass and will continue to help with the bereavement process for up to a year after you pass. Some of the ways we help include face to face and telephone visits, letters, cards, and counseling and bereavement groups.

How can I know if hospice is right for me?

We provide a free, in-home consultation with a member of our care team for anyone that is interested in learning about hospice services. This is often beneficial in a family setting, involving your loved ones and family members. We can answer any questions or concerns about what is and isn’t covered under hospice services and help you and your loved ones determine if hospice is the right choice for you.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care focuses on symptom management. It is not the same as hospice care. While also based on symptom management, hospice care is reserved for the last six months of a person’s life. Palliative care can be offered at any point in the disease process and is actually considered a home health benefit. A patient is allowed to continue pursuing curative measures in treating their disease under palliative care.

Home Health

Who pays for Home Health?

Most insurances cover home health services 100%. Some of the insurances that we accept are Medicare, Triwest, Tricare and Worker’s Comp Fund. If you aren’t sure if your insurance covers home health services, give us a call!

What is the difference between home health and personal or home care services?

These services, while both delivered from the comfort of your home, are very different services. Home health care is a skilled clinical care ordered by a health care provider. These services are focused on curative measures designed to restore you back to your active lifestyle. They are offered by nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and more. Personal or home care assistance involves non-clinical services, such as help around the house, transportation, bathing and light meal preparation. They do not require any sort of physician order and can be offered indefinitely.

Do you provide home health services for people who live in skilled nursing facilities?

No. Each resident of a skilled nursing facility is already monitored by the facility’s nursing and therapy staffs and receives a plan of care similar to what a home health agency can provide.

How do I qualify for home health care?

In order to qualify for home health care, there must be a need for some sort of skilled service. This could be a nursing or therapy based need. These needs are considered necessary if needed to help improve or maintain a patient’s current condition or prevent or slow a patient’s condition from declining. These needs can be on an intermittent basis or might require continuous help.

What services are included with home health?

Active Home Health’s services are intended to restore you to your active lifestyle. In order to achieve this, the services we may provide include skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, wound care, pain management, and palliative care.

Where can I receive services?

Home Health services can be received at your primary place of residence, including your home, a family member’s home, assisted living facility, and group home. Hospitals and skilled nursing facilities would not qualify as they are already staffed to provide the same type of services that home health provides.

How frequently can I receive home health services?

Once successfully discharged, a patient can’t come back on service for the same need for 90 days.

What if my doctor has referred me to another agency?

The agency you use for your home health needs is 100% your choice. There is no obligation to use the agency that your doctor as referred you to.

Do you provide home health services for people who live in assisted living facilities?

Yes. While each resident is monitored by facility staff, an assisted living facility does not provide rehabilitative or treatment based services for its residents. We work together with the staff, your provider and your family to provide the same kind of service there as you would receive at your personal home.

If I am receiving home health services, can I also receive help with my daily in home cares such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, companionship, or transportation?

Personal home care is often needed alongside home health services, and we can help coordinate the two levels of care. A limited number of your personal home care hours may be covered by Medicare while you’re receiving clinical in-home care, but it’s generally paid separately or covered by private insurance or other government programs.

What Does "Homebound" Mean?

In order for home health to be covered by Medicare, a patient has to be considered “homebound”. A patient is considered homebound if they cannot leave home without considerable and taxing effort or when leaving the home is not medically advisable. Examples of being homebound include requiring the use of supportive devices, the use of special transportation, the help or assistance of another person, or when the symptoms of the disease process worsen when leaving the home.

Brief and infrequent non-medical absences are allowed, such as going to church, the beauty shop, or special family events, and do not interfere with one’s homebound status.

Which doctor will follow me while on home health?

There is no need to change doctors while on home health. The referral to begin home health services comes directly from your primary care doctor. Our nurses and therapist will work closely with your doctor to develop a plan of care suited for your needs. Any updates or changes will be communicated directly to their office.

How long can I receive home health services?

Home health services are initially delivered on a 60 day basis, separated in two 30 day benefit periods. A patient must recertify at the end of each 30 day period. As long as the need for home health persists, a patient may recertify and continue to receive services indefinitely.

Personal Care

Are your caregivers insured and bonded?

Yes. Each caregiver is an employee of Active Personal Care. As part of the hiring process, we performed an extensive background check. To ensure the safety and well being of our clients, we cover each caregiver with general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

How can I verify a shift was completed?

Caregivers are unable to clock in and out unless they are within a certain geographical radius of your home. Any notes, activities and needs from a caregiving shift are documented using an electronic charting system. Active Personal Care’s office staff is able to see all scheduled visits and if they were completed or not. If there are ever any concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us to verify.

Do I pay the caregiver directly?

No. You will never be asked to pay the caregiver directly. Active Personal Care bills you for our services twice a month and will send you an invoice accordingly.

Do I need a physician's order to receive personal care services?

No. Personal care services are not clinical based. As such, you do not need a physician’s order to begin services. You can use personal home care services whenever you want for however long you want.

Are caregivers trained in CPR and basic first-aid?

All of Active Personal Care’s aides are CPR certified and trained in basic first-aid.

I am feeling burned out as a caregiver. What can I do?

Caring for a loved one can take both a physical and psychological toll on a person. You are not alone if you are feeling burned out as a caregiver and maybe more importantly, you have not failed as a caregiver either. Rarely is one person enough to take care of another’s needs. Active Personal Care can provide the help and break that you need to recharge your own life.

Can you provide transportation to doctors appointment, shopping or grocery shopping?

Yes, to all of the above. Our aides can help get you or your loved one wherever you need to go. Additional rates apply to reimburse for mileage.

Can I receive nursing services on personal care?

Yes. Active’s nurses can perform vital checks and help with medication management while on personal care. Additional rates apply.

Will my family member always receive care from the same caregiver?

We understand that trust in a long-term caregiving relationship comes from repeated visits by the same person over time. We try hard to make sure this happens, but it is not always possible. If your loved one receives care for many hours in a day or at different times of the day throughout the week, it may be necessary to schedule more than one caregiver in a given week.

What does your personal care cost?

Personal home care visits are billed on an hourly basis. The cost depends on the number of hours needed, what time of day and who will be providing care. We can set up a free, in-home consultation to establish a plan of care and determine what the exact cost will be based off of your needs.

How is the privacy of my personal information maintained?

Active Personal Care strictly adheres to all applicable federal and state guidelines related to the privacy of personal and health care information. Your information will never be sold or given to any unauthorized individuals without your consent.

How do I know when someone needs personal care services?

There are usually small changes in a person’s life that can help indicate if personal care services are necessary. Some of these include a disheveled or dirty appearance, loss of interest in the things they like to do most, unable to perform normal daily tasks, memory problems, unpaid bills, or an increase in minor health problems.

What basic services can be provided?

Some of the services that Active Personal Care can provide, include: meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, running errands, grocery shopping, and getting to appointments. We help with activities like bathing and dressing, or even medication management and vital checks done by a registered nurse. Our personal care program also offers companionship care, safety supervision, and respite care.

What can I do to make sure my loved one is safe when I leave the house?

Many diseases, like dementia, cause a patient to wander and not be aware of their surroundings. This can pose a real safety hazard to the person and make you feel like you can’t leave them alone. Active Personal Care can provide companionship and safety supervision so you can run your errands without worry.

Can you provide physical therapy while I am on personal care?

No. Physical therapy is a clinical service provided by a licensed healthcare professional. If you are needing physical therapy, this may be covered under your home health benefit. Call us today to see if you qualify for home health services.

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