We hope you find the answers below helpful in preparing and guiding you and your family for hospice care. Please send us a message any time to discuss your questions, or give us a call at (804) 272-3300.
We are here to help—you are not alone.
Hospice is a holistic approach to end-of-life care, focused on the mind, body, and spirit to bring quality, comfort, dignity, and support to patients and their caregivers.
Hospice is provided wherever the patient calls home, whether that be in a private residence, assisted-living facility, or skilled-nursing facility. Hospice provides a team of support for the patient and their caregivers.
There are many reasons to choose hospice. The hospice focus is palliative (comfort) care vs. curative care. It is patient centered and caregiver focused.
The hospice team comes to you to manage your symptoms and provide support and education to you and your caregiver. No more trips to the doctor or hospital means more time doing the things you enjoy and spending time with the people that matter the most to you.
Frequent visits by the hospice team along with 24/7 support allows us to stay a step ahead of managing your symptoms and preparing you for what to expect next.
The hospice benefit also covers medical equipment needs such as hospital beds and wheelchairs, necessary medical supplies, and medications related to the hospice diagnosis and symptoms, all in an effort to provide the comfort, quality, and dignity you or your loved one deserves.
Every person receiving hospice is assigned a team, which includes a physician, registered nurse, social worker, hospice aide, and chaplain (otherwise known as the interdisciplinary team). A physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and volunteers are assigned on an as-needed basis. The hospice team will work with you and your family to create a plan of care that will outline the actions and goals for your hospice care.
All visits are based on you and your family’s needs in the care plan and your medical condition during the course of the illness. The frequency of the visits may increase or decrease based on your needs throughout your hospice care. Your hospice team will work with you on developing a schedule and visit frequency that meets your individualized needs.
Services are not limited to just the patient. We aim to help the family cope with the emotional and social issues of the dying process of their loved one. Our goal is to help reduce the caregiver burden. We do this through education, physical support, emotional support, and spiritual support.
Our team includes Nurses to educate on how to care for you or your loved one, keep you informed of where you are in your journey, and what to expect. They are a liaison between you and the physician to obtain needed medication changes to manage your symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, and constipation. Our Social Workers provide community resources and a listening ear. Our Chaplains provide spiritual guidance as well as assistance in funeral planning and officiating. Our Home health aides come intermittently to provide assistance for needs such as bathing, dressing, shaving, and changing linens. We have Volunteers who can offer short-term respite for caregivers to allow for needed naps, trips to the grocery store, or companionship. Our Bereavement services carry on the supportive nature of hospice for at least 13 months following the passing of your loved one through one-on-one counseling, support groups, and mailings with tips on processing your grief through the difficult days and moments ahead. You are not alone!
James River Hospice has a relationship with over 30 facilities in our service area that include skilled-nursing facilities, assisted-living facilities, medical group homes, inpatient hospice facilities, and hospitals. The hospice benefit covers short-term, inpatient care in some situations; your hospice team will help determine if you or your family member is eligible for this benefit. For patients who do not meet this inpatient criteria and can no longer be cared for in the home, our hospice team will help support you in making the best decision for you or your loved one. However, while you or your loved one will continue to be covered by the hospice benefit in a facility setting, the cost to live in these settings is not covered by the hospice benefit, and most insurance coverage does not include coverage for living outside of the home.
Can I be cared for by hospice if I reside in a nursing facility or other type of long-term care facility?
Hospice services can be provided to a person who has a life-limiting illness wherever that person lives. This means a person living in a nursing facility or long-term care facility can receive specialized visits from hospice nurses, home health aides, chaplains, social workers, and volunteers, in addition to other care and services provided by the nursing facility. The hospice and the nursing home will have a written agreement in place in order for the hospice to serve residents of the facility. The Medicare Hospice Benefit will cover the care related to your terminal illness, but it does not cover daily room and board charges of the facility. If you are eligible for Medicaid, Medicaid will cover room and board charges in most situations.
It is never too early to contact hospice. Studies have shown that people often live longer and happier under the care of hospice than those who forgo or delay the hospice benefit. We have a team of caring professionals who will come to you and provide you with a wealth of information about hospice and other resources.
Even if you do not qualify for hospice at this time, we will assist you in finding the most appropriate care for you and continue to maintain contact for when you do qualify for the hospice benefit.
Yes. Our office hours and primary care team hours are Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm. After 5 pm during the week and throughout the weekend, we have on-call staff to help you navigate any change in condition, question or concern that arises, emotional/spiritual support, scheduled and as-needed visits, and any other need that may arise where we can help you.
Anyone can refer a patient for hospice care or request an information session. While most referrals come from Primary Care Physicians, Specialty Physicians, and Hospitals, if you think you qualify for hospice or a loved one qualifies, call us at (804) 272-3300 or use our contact form. We will contact your physician to obtain the needed orders and information to support hospice. To qualify, a patient’s attending physician (if they choose) and the hospice medical director must certify that the patient has a terminal condition with a life expectancy of six months or less, if the disease runs its natural course.
Yes. There are state licensure requirements that must be met by hospice programs in order for them to deliver care. In addition, hospices must comply with federal regulations in order to be approved for reimbursement under Medicare. Hospices must periodically undergo inspection to be sure they are meeting regulatory standards in order to maintain their license to operate and the certification that permits Medicare reimbursement.
In addition, James River Hospice is proud to be accredited by ACHC (Accreditation Commission for Health Care).
Accreditation is a process of review that allows healthcare organizations to demonstrate their ability to meet regulatory requirements and standards established by recognized accreditation organizations. Accreditation reflects an agency’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that demonstrate a higher level of performance and patient care. ACHC Accreditation Standards were created by industry experts.
On-site accreditation surveys are conducted every three years by ACHC Surveyors who possess industry-specific experience. They follow a comprehensive review process that looks at organizational structure, policies and procedures, and compliance with state and federal laws.
Most insurances are accepted. Any Medicare, Medicare Supplement, or Managed Medicare Policy reverts to Medicare, and the above services are covered 100% as part of the hospice benefit.
Hospice volunteers are generally available to provide different types of support to individuals and their loved ones, including running errands, preparing light meals, staying with a person to give loved ones a break, and lending emotional support and companionship to individuals and loved ones.
Because hospice volunteers spend time in homes, each hospice program has an application and interview process to ensure the person is right for this type of volunteer work. In addition, hospice programs have an organized training program for their volunteers. Areas covered by these training programs often include understanding hospice, confidentiality, working with families, listening skills, signs and symptoms of approaching death, loss and grief, and bereavement support.
Contact us if you are interested in volunteering.