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Allina Health Hospice: A Family Matter
Norman and his loved ones describe the compassion and care Allina Health Hospice provided during the transition to hospice care in his home.
Call 651-635-9173 or
Hospice care is for anyone with a life-limiting illness and whose life expectancy may be six months or less if the disease runs its natural course.
Hospice is a champion for quality of life. The focus of hospice is to relieve physical discomfort and meet the emotional and spiritual needs of patients, while providing support and education for families and caregivers.
Hospice care allows a natural death. It neither hastens death nor prolongs life, but rather provides comfort for those nearing the end of life. Diagnostic procedures and treatments specifically intended to prolong life are not usually included in hospice care.
Patients are eligible for hospice once it is determined that life expectancy is limited and they choose to control their symptoms without the expectation of prolonging life.
Allina Health Hospice serves patients living in our service area of 30 counties throughout Minnesota. We cares for patients wherever they currently call home. This includes assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, group homes and residential hospice facilities.
Payment and insurance
Hospice care is covered by most insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. Private pay options are also available.
To pay your Hospice care bill call, 612-262-1779
Our admission staff can help evaluate your coverage. Simply call us at 651-635-9173.
It is our policy to never refuse service to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
Source: Medicare Hospice Benefits, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Reviewed by: Gloria Cade, RN, BSN, CHPCA, hospice director
First Published: 08/11/2006
Last Reviewed: 05/01/2012
The hospice care team and your plan of care
This 79-page guide is designed to help family members and caregivers as their loved ones transition to hospice care.
Hospice patients are cared for by a team of skilled professionals known as the interdisciplinary hospice team.
The hospice team works with the primary physician, patient and family to set up an individualized plan of care, which honors the patient's goals, values and wishes. This plan of care describes who will visit, the frequency of visits and what they will do. The plan of care will also determine the need for medications, medical equipment and whatever else may be needed. The purpose of the plan of care is to focus on comfort, not to find a cure. It is a guide for patients and family to help make the most of their remaining time together.
Hospitalization, symptom management and respite care for relief of the caregiver that cannot be achieved at your residence will be provided on a short-term basis at one of the contracted care settings of Allina Health Hospice. Hospice is responsible for the payment of pre-authorized and arranged services concerning the life-limiting illness, including hospitalizations, procedures and treatment for symptom control.
Hospice care available depending on patient needs
Care coordination is available to Allina Health Hospice patients through the Care Navigation Help Desk. The health care delivery system for those with terminal illness is complex and confusing, making it more difficult to obtain the full range of appropriate services. Care coordinators can help arrange and schedule services, facilitate communication among multiple providers and monitor changes.
Personal care can include bathing, cooking and managing bodily functions. Home health aides help manage personal cares.
Symptom management is also called comfort care. The goal is to make the patient as comfortable as possible by relieving pain and other distressing symptoms; such as anxiety, difficulty breathing, upset stomach, loss of appetite and insomnia. The nurse case manager provides expert pain and symptom management.
Companionship and support is available through our trained hospice volunteers. Volunteers can provide transportation to and from appointments, light housework, period meal preparation, go on outings, read stories, play cards, run errands such as grocery shopping, respite care or something as simple as listening.
Respite care provides short breaks for a caregiver that relieve stress, restore energy and promote balance. Respite care consists of two basic ideas: sharing the responsibility for care giving and getting support for the caregiver. The Allina Health Hospice program has trained volunteers available to provide respite care.
Spiritual care is inclusive of your personal and spiritual points of view, regardless of faith affiliation, religious or cultural background. Our chaplains can provide compassionate presence for you, your family and your friends and assist you with emotional and spiritual support and counsel. They recognize the spiritual dimensions of illness, suffering and healing. Our chaplains also work in with your spiritual leader to ensure the highest quality of care.
Grief counseling is offered to caregivers and the families of hospice patients during the year after death. Resources available include booklets, lists of local support groups, phone counselors and grief counselors. Following the death of a hospice patient, family members will be contacted by mail with the name and phone number of grief counselors at Allina Health Grief Resources.
Community resources can be recommended through your social worker. Resources and services may include patient counseling, family or caregiver counseling, financial and legal information (i.e. power of attorney, family leave act, money management, social security application, etc.), discharge planning, children's support resources, patient/family advocacy and identifying additional community resources.
Music therapy can help address physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social needs of patients and their families. The music therapist will use a variety of musical media to address individualized therapeutic needs within the care plan, incorporating the patient's preferred type of music and may include live music experiences whenever appropriate. Music therapists are available on a limited basis. Your case manager will be able to determine availability of this therapy based on the patient care plan.
Massage therapy can help manage pain, reduce stress and improve circulation or mobility through professional, nurturing touch. The massage therapist adapts the sessions to meet the needs, preferences and comfort level of the patient. The massage can be given while sitting in a chair or recliner, or while lying on a bed or couch. Whether the sessions are designed to address specific symptoms or to promote general well being, an enhanced quality of life is the goal.
Massage therapists are available on a limited basis. Your case manager will be able to determine availability of this therapy based on the patient care plan.
This 79-page guide is designed to help family members and caregivers as their loved ones transition to hospice care.
Routine hospice care
Routine hospice care includes intermittent visits by members of the interdisciplinary team. Routine hospice home care may be provided in the home or other places of residence such as a nursing facility.
Reimbursement for care: Routine hospice home care is paid to the hospice for each day that the beneficiary is under the care of the hospice and is not receiving one of the other categories of care.
Continuous care in your home
Continuous hospice home care is allowed only during periods of crisis, usually in lieu of a hospitalization, in which a patient requires continuous care to achieve palliation or management of acute medical symptoms. Continuous hospice home care may be provided in the home or other places of residence, such as a nursing facility.
Reimbursement for care: Continuous hospice care in your home is covered only as necessary to maintain the terminally ill patient benefiting at home. The care must be predominantly nursing care. The continuous home care rate is divided by 24 hours to determine an hourly rate. A minimum of 8 hours must be provided.
Respite care is short-term inpatient care provided to the hospice patient when necessary to relieve the hospice patient's caregiver(s). Respite care can be provided in the home or in a Medicare- or Medicaid-certified hospice inpatient facility, hospital, skilled nursing facility or residential hospice.
Reimbursement for care: Respite care may be provided only on an occasional basis and is not reimbursed for more than five consecutive days.
Residential hospice care
Residential hospice care is provided in a free-standing facility which is designed to be home-like with personalized care provided 24 hours a day. When providing care at home is no longer possible, residential hospice care is a fitting alternative.
Reimbursement for care: Room and board expenses are separate from hospice care and generally paid by patients or their family.
General inpatient care
General inpatient care is for pain control and symptom management that cannot feasibly be provided in other settings. General inpatient care may be provided in a Medicare- or Medicaid-certified hospice inpatient facility, hospital or skilled nursing facility.
Residential hospice care is provided in a free-standing facility which is designed to be home-like with personalized care provided 24 hours a day. When providing care at home is no longer possible, residential hospice care is a wonderful alternative.
A residential hospice can give peace to spouses, family and friends who cannot provide the round-the-clock care their loved ones need, but want to honor their loved one's request to be in a home-like setting. It can provide a caring alternative when a terminally ill person has no nearby caregivers. A residential hospice will also proved a place for respite care, when hospice patients can stay for up to five day periods while caregivers take a needed break.
Homestead Hospice House (Owatonna, Minnesota)
Homestead Hospice House is a state-licensed, eight-bed residential hospice located in Owatonna, Minnesota.
To arrange a tour, please call 507-446-0936.
J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota)
The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice is a state- and Medicare-licensed 12-bed residential hospice in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
To arrange a tour, please call 763-236-2950.
Hospice questions and answers
An experienced and skilled interdisciplinary care team provides care for the patient and their families as they experience the unique physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial needs associated with a terminal illness. The hospice team, along with you, your family and attending physician, develop a plan of care that honors your goals, values and wishes.
The discussion about hospice is not always begun by the physician, it is often left up to the patient and family members. We are available to help you determine whether hospice care is appropriate and how to discuss it with your physician. Federal law requires a physician to certify a patient's life expectancy is six months or less.
We are available at any time during a patient's life-limiting illness to discuss the appropriateness of hospice care. Diagnostic procedures and treatments specifically intended to prolong life are not typically a part of hospice care. When the focus of treatment becomes symptom control and pain management, hospice is appropriate.
Hospice care is available any place a patient calls home. This can include the patient's home, assisted living, a skilled nursing facility, long term care facility, hospital or residential hospice.
Allina Health Hospice is available to anyone living in our service area throughout Minnesota.
Hospice nurses are available by phone 24 hours a day seven days a week, including holidays. The hospice nurse and members of the hospice team make intermittent scheduled visits to the patient's residence.
Myths and facts about hospice
Truth: Hospice is actually about taking control and living well for the last days of life. Hospice allows patients to live their final days in the comfort and familiarity of their home surrounded by family and friends.
Truth: Hospice care allows a natural death; it neither hastens death nor prolongs life, but rather provides comfort for those nearing the end of life. Hospice is about living well, the way you choose, for the final days of life.
Truth: The interdisciplinary hospice team treats the unique physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial needs of patients and families coping with a diagnosis of terminal illness.
Truth: Hospice is available to adults with any terminal diagnosis, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, decline in clinical status, heart disease, HIV-AIDS, liver disease, neurological disease (ALS, MS, Huntington's, Parkinson's), pulmonary disease, renal disease, coma and stroke.
Truth: Hospice is a choice in the type of care received by a terminally ill patient. It is not up to the physician but up to the patient and their family to choose hospice care.
Truth: Hospice is available for anyone. In fact, hospice costs less than hospital or nursing home care. Generally, hospice services are reimbursable expenses under Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans.
Truth: Under federal law, hospice benefit does not have a time limit. Enrollment may occur when a diagnosis of a terminal illness is made, with an estimated life expectancy of six months or less.