Debunking the Myths of Hospice

15 December, 2015














Hospice care is given to the terminally ill patients, only after a doctor and the Director of Hospice give their affirmation on the condition of the patient. Hospice can be defined as a comprehensive set of care and services, that is recommended during the final phase of a patient.


Hospice is not a simple concept and is often misunderstood by the public. Therefore, I decided to focus on a few popular myths that surround Hospice and in the process try to clear them out so that you can have a better understanding as to what it actually is all about.


Myth 1- People have to visit Hospice centres to receive Hospice Care

People need to understand that hospice, is not a place, but a practice of giving care to the people who are approaching their final stage. According to the available data, 80% patients receive hospice care at home. Therefore, there is no compulsion for the patients to visit hospice centres to spend their remaining days in an environment which is alien to them. They can receive hospice care at home, in a healthcare facility, or at any other place where they wish to.

Myth 2- Hospice depends on Sedation to manage Patient's pain

Most people have a misconception that hospice workers use sedatives for pain management. Truth is that, although sedatives are given to patients who are suffering from intesnepain, the dosage is always monitored.

The aim of Hospice caregivers is to help reduce the emotional and psychological pain of the patient and to provide as much comfort during their final moments.


Myth 3. Once you Enroll in a Hospice Program, there's No Turning Back

Hospice is entirely a matter of choice of the patient and their families. They can discontinue hospice program whenever they wish to. They are also free to switch to any other treatment procedures that they consider to be at their best interest.

The patients are at a liberty to opt out of hospice care without having to state any particular reason whatsoever. In fact, there are cases where the hospice professionals themselves, have recommended and approved discharge, when they felt that there is a significant improvement in the patient's health.

Myth 4. Hospice is not covered by Managed Care

It is true that Medical Care Organizations (MCOs) are not bound to incorporate hospice coverage. However, the Medicare beneficiaries have the advantage to avail hospice benefits. The beneficiaries are free to choose the place and time for the hospice care, as they are not locked into the end-life-services, which is an integral part of Medical Care Organizations. In case the patient's age is less than sixty-five years, an inquiry is required to avail hospice care services.


Hospice care demonstrates that a terminally ill patient can also be cared for right up until their last moments. Patients often tend to opt for Hospice services themselves, to ease the emotional turmoil of their families. Although death can never be fully compensated for, but the last moments can be made comfortable for the person. Hospice care serves to do just that.