Hospice of the Valley

Important Things To Know About Hospice Care – BEFORE You Need It!
• Hospice is not a place you “go to die.” Hospice is a philosophy of treatment. The care is centered on making someone comfortable at the end of their life’s journey.
• Hospice care is NOT just for people in the last days to week of their life. Hospice care should be started at the moment the person and/or family (if the person isn’t able to make those decisions for themselves,) decide to pursue a comfort care approach versus aggressive therapies.
• Patient’s can be on service up to 6 months or even longer! It’s not just “6 months or less” anymore.
• Most of the care is done at home through intermittent nursing visits. The care team is comprised of Physician’s, Social Workers, Nursing Assistants, Chaplains and Volunteers.
• Hospice patients “always” should have the opportunity to have their regular community physician direct the plan of care. If needed – the hospice medical director can fill in to direct the plan of care.
• Medicare is the major reimbursement source for all hospice care, but commercial insurance also reimburses for hospice care.
• All medical equipment (electric bed, oxygen, bedside commode, etc.) should be provided by the hospice agency – along with all medications related to the life limiting illness the hospice is seeing the patient for (pain meds, meds for difficulty breathing, sleeping, anxiety, etc.)
• All hospices are NOT the same. No two hospice companies are interconnected (i.e. “hospice is not hospice is not hospice.”) Of the 50+ hospices in Maricopa County, only 2 are legitimate “not for profit” hospices – the rest are all “for profit.”
• Hospice of the Valley is the largest “not for profit” independent hospice in the United States serving over 3000 patients daily in 3 counties (Maricopa, Pinal and Pima.)
• Hospice of the Valley will accept/give excellent care to patients REGARDLESS of their ability to pay or insurance status.
• If you think you or your loved one could use hospice care, call an agency of your choice. Hospice of the Valley has 24/7 phone and visit coverage. You NEVER get an answering service when you call. We don’t need a physician order just to “eval” you or your loved one – we only need an order to initiate the services once the decision to pursue hospice care is made.
• For those patients who do not think they are ready for hospice, Hospice of the Valley has a “AZ Palliative Home Care” program that is a separate community agency providing palliative care to those patients/families still pursuing aggressive treatments/therapies – but still want 24/7 nurse or social worker help. It’s a “care management” model so there’s not any hand’s on care – but the nurses/social workers collaborate with you and your physician(s) to make sure you are receiving all the aggressive therapies and pain/symptom management concurrently.

• For anyone with any questions or wanting more info – please don’t hesitate to give Adam a call at 602-391-0282.