- What is hospice care?
Hospice offers a team approach to care of the terminally ill and their families. We are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of our patients and families.
- If I know of someone who is terminally ill, how can I access services?
Anyone can call to refer a patient to hospice care. Call HCI Care Services at (515) 274-3400 or (800) 806-9934 to start the process. If you think the patient or family caregivers need extra help in the home, you can also call our private duty service toll-free at (855) 333-4275.
- When a person has hospice services, who will be involved in the care?
Nurses, social workers, hospice aides and volunteers are the direct care staff who provide care. In addition, hospice uses the expertise of a pharmacist, spiritual care counselor, dietitian, medical director and other health professionals as needed.
- Sometimes people say that choosing hospice is giving up hope. Is this true?
Choosing hospice care is not giving up hope. In fact, choosing hospice means that the patient can look forward to living his or her remaining weeks and months in comfort, with dignity and surrounded by people who care. When the focus turns from cure to care, that's when it's time to call.
- Where do your services take place?
HCI Hospice Care services is provided first and foremost in the home. If for some reason, the patient can't or chooses not to stay in the home, services are also provided in area nursing homes and at our Kavanagh House facilities.
- Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
Hospice does nothing to speed up or slow down the death process. We make the patient comfortable until death comes peacefully and naturally.
- Should I wait for the physician to recommend hospice care, or should I bring it up during one of our visits?
You should feel free to approach the subject of hospice care at any time with your physician. The doctor will let you know when the appropriate timing might be. You may ask for an information-only meeting so you are prepared in the future when services are needed.
How is the cost of hospice care covered?
Hospice care through our organization is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance policies. We also offer a sliding fee scale for those with no coverage. The Hospice of Central Iowa Foundation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable care each year, thus assuring care is available to everyone who needs it. Under Medicare and Medicaid, all costs are covered (including durable medical equipment) except for 5 percent of pharmacy costs. Private insurance coverage is per the individual's contract. Medications are usually paid at 100 percent.
How are the costs of private duty services covered?
Our private duty services are very competitively priced. Because you determine the type of care you need and how often you’d like us to visit, you only pay for the services you want. We also accept major credit cards. Our staff is available to help assess your eligibility.
Can I still seek aggressive treatment for my disease if I am receiving palliative care?
Yes. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life, whether or not you are receiving aggressive treatment for your disease. The goal of palliative care is to relieve your pain and suffering as well as anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, depression, constipation and other symptoms accompanying your illness.