What is Hospice?
Hospice is not a place; rather it is a philosophy and model of care designed for individuals facing life limiting illness. Horizon Hospice services are provided by a team of specially trained professionals. Our Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Chaplains, Nurse Aides and Volunteers work together to provide comfort and support for you and your family.
When is it time to discuss hospice?
When faced with a serious illness, we encourage you to talk with your physician about all of your treatment options including hospice care. It is also important to discuss end of life preferences with family members. The earlier this discussion happens, the more options are available for maintaining informed control of your medical choices.
Who should call Horizon?
Any family member, physician, patient, friend or residential facility may call us to initiate an assessment for hospice services at (509) 489-4581. Our Nurse will determine if the patient meets the hospice guidelines set by Medicare and, when appropriate, begin services immediately. There is no cost for this assessment.
Where does horizon provide care?
We provide hospice care wherever you or your loved one calls home. This could include a private residence, retirement home, assisted living center, adult family home, skilled nursing facility or, in some cases, even a hospital.
Who pays for hospice care?
Our services are available regardless of your ability to pay. Horizon Hospice helps families avoid financial hardships caused by high medical costs in treatment of life-limiting illness. Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans cover hospice care costs.
What else does hospice care include?
In addition to the professional services outlined above, Horizon Hospice covers medications, equipment (such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, etc.) as well as supplies (such as oxygen and incontinence products, etc.) related to the hospice illness. Various therapies will also be covered when appropriate.
What is palliative care?
If you are not quite ready for hospice – either you are still seeking treatments, or you do not meet Medicare guideline standards for hospice, we can offer Palliative Care. Our Palliative Care staff (RN, MSW, ARNP) can help find solutions to the challenges that arise during difficult times of life. We can work together with home health and other specialties as you seek health and comfort. Our goal is to help you feel better and maintain the best possible quality of life. Feel free to ask your hospice staff more about this service.
Contacting Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care
As a Horizon Hospice patient you have access to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Use the same phone number (509) 489-4581 to reach Horizon Hospice any time of day and night, any day of the week. Your call will be answered by our office staff on weekdays between the hours of 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, and by a local answering service on week nights and weekends. The answering service operator will ask for the caller’s name and the person receiving hospice care, and then the operator will connect you directly to our nurse.
What happens in an emergency or when the family needs relief?
Although hospice, under Medicare guidelines, does not provide 24 hour on-site care, our Nursing team is available for emergencies 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We encourage you to call anytime, day or night, whenever there is a concern. When a family member providing care suffers from fatigue, periodic relief may be provided by our Nurse Aides. Sometimes the patient may be admitted to a Skilled Nursing Facility for up to five days of respite care to allow for caregiver recovery. There are other alternatives available. Please don’t hesitate to ask your Social Worker.
Why Horizon is not a non-profit?
The short answer is this: we can do more with less. Horizon receives less net funding yet delivers significantly more care than other hospices- including non-profits. According to the Medicare Cost Report, Horizon provides 35% more care than other hospices (including Non-Profits). At the same time, we pay taxes on all revenue and do not receive donations to assist in operations. Despite lower income we deliver a higher level of care.
This rare combination means we have transcended the traditional For-Profit or Non-Profit discussion- Horizon is a For-Patient Hospice.
Unfortunately, over the past several years, changing hospice reimbursement has caused other Hospice programs, both Non-Profit and For-Profit, to drift away from quality care as their top priority. We hear of patients waiting several days for their first visit because the Hospice Admission Team is too busy to see them right away. We hear of visits by care staff becoming less frequent in order to meet financial goals set forth by management.
Horizon Hospice was built on the foundation that we will always provide the quality of care you would want for your parents or grandparents. While many Non-Profit Hospices are compassionate to their core, it remains true that any organization can become more about process and efficiency than about patient care. Sometimes this happens when Board Members exert influence which focuses on financial goals at the expense of quality care.
For this reason, Horizon Hospice was not set up as a Non-Profit. The very real possibility that future Board Members could deviate from quality patient care as the guiding principle would have defeated the purpose of founding our organization. Our Family Satisfaction scores indicate that we are succeeding in our quest for top quality care.
Horizon is a For-Patient Hospice. We receive less revenue and provide more care.
You have the right to choose the best hospice care provider for your loved one