End-of-life care is equivalent to hospice care, or what is widely known as comfort care. Hospice care provides services that are medically appropriate for patients with terminal illness. Hospice services typically begin when life expectancy is about six months, but they can also begin earlier. Medical care, as it relates to hospice care, focuses on treating the symptoms of an illness, which usually includes pain management.
The hospice team includes doctors, nurses, and home health aides who administer medical services for the patient. Counselors and social workers work with the patient and family members to provide bereavement support for everyone involved.
Many families are surprised to find that certain types of care such as assisted living, dementia care, skilled nursing care, and senior group homes won’t accept typical funding sources. Personal insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare don’t necessarily cover those types of care. The same is not true for hospice and palliative care.
Most private insurance plans do cover hospice and palliative care. Medicaid and Medicare will also cover hospice and palliative care. Veterans can request hospice care coverage through the military insurer, TRICARE. All other individuals will need to self-pay for care, although many hospice centers accept payment plans or charge on a sliding scale. Many hospice providers have the backing of strong financial supporters and can sometimes offer full compensation for hospice or palliative care.
The Oregon Hospice and Palliative Care Association is the premier resource for individuals, families of people with serious or end-of-life illnesses, and hospice and palliative care providers in the state of Oregon. The association was developed to make sure that Oregon residents have access to high quality hospice and palliative care at the end of their lives.
The Oregon Hospice and Palliative Care Association focuses on networking with existing and evolving providers, collecting data and coordinating research, educating ill residents and their families and providers, developing and implementing quality standards and best practices, and advocating at all levels of regulation and governing bodies.
Their database yields ten hospice and palliative care agencies in the Portland area. Here’s a quick look at a few of them:
The team of doctors, nurses, chaplains, and social workers at Providence Hospice place a strong emphasis on quality of life as they serve their clients who are in the final time of life. They provide emotional, social, and spiritual support, in addition to providing pain management and comfort care.
Legacy Hospice is accredited through The Joint Commission on healthcare, the nation’s predominant body for setting standards in healthcare. Legacy provides care in the patient’s home, in assisted living facilities, in adult foster homes, or in nursing care facilities. They also have a 12-bed inpatient facility in southwest Portland called Legacy Hopewell House Hospice.
The Serenity Palliative Care & Hospice program serves all areas in Portland with a special emphasis on serving our nation’s veterans. They are a service-driven organization with a focus on patient care, customer service, and compliance. They provide hospice and palliative care in the home and in other settings.
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