Hospice is a specialized health care program for terminally ill members who chose supportive and palliative care rather than curative measures and aggressive treatments for their terminal illness. It focuses on symptom control, pain management and psychosocial support for members with a life expectancy of one year or less to live. Hospices do not speed up or slow down the dying process. Rather, hospice programs provide state-of-the-art palliative care and supportive services to members at the end of their lives, as well as to their family and significant others, in both the home and facility-based settings. It consists of a physician-directed, nurse-coordinated interdisciplinary team consisting of social workers, counselors, clergy, physical and occupational therapists, and specially trained volunteers.
For additional information refer to Criteria for Hospice Appropriateness.
A hospice care program consists of, but is not limited to, the following:
- Professional services of a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
- Medical and surgical supplies and durable medical equipment (DME)
- Prescribed medications
- In-home laboratory services
- Medical social service consultations
- Inpatient hospice room, board and general nursing service
- Inpatient respite care, which is short-term care provided to the member only when necessary to relieve the family or other persons caring for the member
- Family counseling related to the member's terminal condition
- Dietitian services
- Pastoral services
- Bereavement services
- Educational services
Hospice Consideration Request
To further assist providers in proper utilization of hospice care, Health Net has developed a Hospice Consideration Request letter. The letters (generic) may be used when notifying a primary care physician (PCP) or attending physician of the member's need for hospice care.