“Hospice care is underutilized — only a third of Americans die under the care of hospice, and hospice care is free,” noted the author of one article, Dr. Gail Gazelle, assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. “Far too often, patients end up in an ICU, rushed to the emergency room, and they end up dying there, when really they would much rather have died in their own home,” she added. “Too few Americans entering life’s final phase are availing themselves of high-quality hospice care, despite the fact that Medicare covers the expense, experts say.”
This is just one of the many misconceptions hospice carries. Whether it’s because individuals are afraid to have a conversation with their physicians or loved ones about their condition (disease), or vice versa. It is important to truly understand all of what hospice services entail, from the types of diagnosis that are accepted, insurance coverage, medications, etc. Hospice is about living. Having dignity with the best quality of life possible. Hospice is centered on palliative care which is the management of pain and symptoms. Hospice patients get all the information they need to make the best choices about their own treatment.
Click on the link below to watch a quick video highlighting some of the most common misconceptions we hear on a daily basis, not only by the community we serve, but other healthcare professionals as well.
SOURCES: Gail Gazelle, M.D., assistant clinical professor, Harvard Medical School, and president, MD Can Help, Boston; Alexi Wright, M.D., fellow, hematology/oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; July 26, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine