Frequently Asked Questions

When should a person enter a hospice program like First Choice Hospice of Utah?

A person with a life-limiting disease is eligible for hospice when the prognosis is six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. The focus switches from treating the disease and shifts to patient comfort, symptom management and quality of life.

Who should make the decision for a person to enter a hospice program?

Although the final decision belongs to the patient, most often the patient’s physician and family are also involved in the process.

Is hospice care only for cancer patients?

No.  A person with a life-limiting illness and a prognosis of six months or less to live is eligible for hospice care regardless of the diagnosis.

Is there an age requirement to be on hospice care?

There is no age requirement. Newborns to people over 100 years of age have been hospice patients. Some hospice companies provide specialized pediatric hospice services.

What is involved in the hospice admission process?

When the patient decides on hospice care, our team will contact his/her physician to confirm that the patient is eligible for hospice. A registered nurse will complete an exam and assessment of pain and symptoms. Admission papers will be signed and any additional questions answered by a medical social worker and within a few days meet the hospice team that will be handling care.

Can the hospice patient keep his/her own doctor?

Yes. If the patient elects to keep his/her physician, our team can work with the patient and his/her physician to determine the best plan of care.  We also have a hospice physician who understands the hospice philosophy and has experience in working with the terminally ill.  Most of our patients elect to switch to the care of the hospice physician.

Is home the only place that hospice care can be delivered?

Hospice services can be delivered to the patient’s primary legal residence which can include a skilled nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or home of the caregiver.

How is hospice care paid for?

Most private health insurance companies offer a hospice care benefit and both Medicare and Medicaid offer hospice benefits.

Will there be a nurse at the house everyday?

A hospice nurse provides routine visits throughout the week, however First Choice Hospice of Utah has nurses available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays and weekends in case of urgent need.

What services does hospice provide?

First Choice Hospice has a team of physicians, nurses, medical social worker, coordinators, home health aides, clergy and volunteers. We also provide equipment, supplies and medications related to the patient’s terminal disease and offer various special therapies that enhance quality of life.

Does hospice make death come any sooner?

NO. First Choice hospice of Utah affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death.

Who does hospice care for?

Our hospice team provides emotional support to the patient and the people they love. Our support continues for 13 months after the patient has died. We have specialized grief support for children and events like WINGS OF LOVE for the family.

Can a patient leave the hospice program and return to regular treatment?

YES. The hospice patient may choose to revoke hospice & receive treatment at any time.