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Hospice Care Services

For a broad spectrum of patients with advanced illnesses, VNSNY Hospice Care is committed to providing the right care at the right time in the right setting to meet each patient’s goals and improve their quality of life.

Multiple studies have shown that hospice and palliative care programs can significantly improve patients’ physical and psychological symptoms.1 In fact, many patients and families who have benefited from hospice care report that they wish they had received it sooner.

Objectives of VNSNY Hospice Care

Our primary goal is to enhance the quality of life for patients and families, with a focus on:

  • Improved pain and symptom management
  • Increased caregiver confidence
  • Greater feeling of control for both patients and families

Services and Specialty Programs

No community health care organization is better positioned than VNSNY to coordinate and customize care to meet a broad spectrum of patient needs. Our approach is person-centered and protocol-driven, with services that include:

  • Helping to initiate the hospice conversation with patients and families
  • Managing symptoms and physical discomfort
  • Facilitating communication between the patient and the family, and with the primary care physician
  • Providing guidance on disease progression to help shape expectations
  • Counseling for emotional support

We also offer a number of innovative hospice programs developed to meet the needs of specific, underserved populations:

Wound Care in Hospice Setting

Wounds are common in hospice eligible patients, and they may impact the patient’s quality of life and relationships with loved ones.

Many patients with terminal illnesses are known to present with wounds. Factors like frailty, impaired mobility, poor nutrition and incontinence often lead to development and increasing severity of wounds.

Wounds are often painful and unpleasant to patients. Wound symptoms, such as bleeding and odor, may discourage loved ones from spending as much time as they would like with the patient.

VNSNY Hospice offers Wound Care in a Hospice Setting—a specialized program providing evidence-based, individualized care to hospice eligible patients with wounds. Hospice wound care patients are overseen by wound care specialists in conjunction with the patient’s hospice integrated care team.

If a patient is hospice eligible and has wounds, referral to VNSNY Wound Care in Hospice Setting allows them to receive palliative wound treatment alongside all the other benefits of our Hospice service.

VNSNY’s Wound Care in a Hospice Setting offers:

  • Compassionate wound care, consistent with hospice goals and values
  • Wound care individualized for each patient
  • Collaborative approach with wound specialist participation
  • Patient centered care
  • Formulary including advanced wound care products

Over half of our patients experience wound healing with Wound Care in Hospice Setting.

The primary objective of Wound Care in Hospice Setting is increasing the comfort and quality of life of the patient. With a care plan focused on symptom relief and less aggressive treatment, over half of our patients experience wound healing.

For more information or to make a referral, call VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care at 1-212-609-1900.

COPD Hospice Care Program

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, non-curable disease that impacts over 15 million Americans.It significantly reduces quality of life, with a high physical and emotional burden on both patients and caregivers, and is associated with excessive rates of hospital readmissions and ED visits, particularly as the disease progresses.2 However, many end-stage COPD patients are not being connected to the appropriate level of care.

VNSNY COPD Hospice Care, the only program of its kind in the New York metro area, is a new, specialized hospice program designed for patients with end-stage COPD to improve quality of life and reduce hospitalizations and ED visits.  At its core is an interdisciplinary team of VNSNY hospice specialists, including an advanced practice nurse, respiratory therapist, home health aide, and team physician, as well as expertise as needed from a registered nurse, social worker, spiritual care counselor and registered dietitian. Also integral to the team are Hospice volunteers, who are available to provide support and companionship.  The VNSNY Hospice team works with patients and their families to create an individualized care plan, including symptom management and education on techniques to decrease anxiety, to ensure patients’ goals-of-care are met.

Download the VNSNY COPD Hospice Care Program Guide to read more about this program.

For more information or to make a referral, call VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care at 1-212-609-1900.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.     2. Shah, T et al. COPD Readmissions: Addressing COPD in the Era of Value-based Health Care.CHEST.2016 Oct;150(4):916-926 

Cardiac Hospice Care Program

Advanced cardiac conditions, especially heart failure, profoundly impact patients, providers, and health systems. It is a leading cause of hospitalizations among patients over 65, and its prevalence is growing.1

To fill this important gap in care, we created the VNSNY Cardiac Hospice Care Program—the only one of its kind offered throughout the five boroughs of New York City. It uniquely features an interdisciplinary care team with special training in managing advanced-stage cardiac patients. The team, including a cardiac nurse practitioner, hospice specialty coach, and hospice medical director, works collaboratively with the patient’s cardiologist and PCP to provide an enhanced level of care for patients and families.

For more information, download the VNSNY Cardiac Hospice Care Program Guide.

1 Chen-Scarabelli, C, Saravolatz, L, Hirsh B, et al. Dilemmas in End-stage Heart Failure, Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, 2015.

Veterans Hospice Program

The Veterans Program from VNSNY Hospice Care combines compassionate care and clinical best practices to provide specialized medical, spiritual, and emotional support to address the unique needs of veterans and their families.

VNSNY Hospice Care is proud to have achieved the We Honor Veterans Partner Level Five status, the highest level a hospice provider can achieve. This distinction was granted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and acknowledges our dedication to ensuring that veterans have access to quality hospice care. VNSNY is the only hospice provider serving all five boroughs to achieve Level Five We Honor Veterans status.

In addition to the benefits that VNSNY Hospice Care provides, individuals in the Hospice Care for Veterans Program also receive:

  • Care provided by a team of experts, many of whom are veterans themselves
  • Help in identifying veteran-specific benefits and connecting to additional community services, as needed
  • Special recognition ceremonies including family and friends
  • Assistance in the planning of military memorials
  • Access to grief support groups and bereavement program for patients’ families

For more information, download the VNSNY Hospice Veterans Program Guide.

Hospice Outreach Program

Historically, the benefits of hospice care have been under-utilized, in particular by African-American and Latino communities. There are many reasons for this disparity, but the overriding one is simply lack of awareness.

To help ensure that all of our referring partners’ patients have ready access to end-of-life care when it’s needed, VNSNY Hospice Care has developed the HOPE Program. This outreach effort works with health care, faith, and community leaders in Harlem and the South Bronx to give Black and Latino New Yorkers information about hospice care and its benefits.

LGBT Cultural Competency Training

VNSNY Hospice Care is part of an elite group that have received SAGECare’s Platinum LGBT cultural competency credential, providing our team with the insights and expertise to meet the needs of this underserved community. SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults through advocacy and services.

Care Wherever Your Patient Resides

We are dedicated to providing unparalleled, customized care to meet each patient’s unique goals, offering care wherever your patients reside:

  • Private home
  • Nursing home or assisted living facility
  • Short-term, in-patient facility
  • Hospice residence

24/7 Access to Care

We are committed to being available to you and your patients at any time. Our 24/7 services include:

  • A nurse support hotline, providing access to a hospice health professional around the clock
  • The Hospice Referral Center, which accepts referrals and handles inquiries
  • Our dedicated caregiver helpline, providing one-on-one crisis nursing care and access to on-call registered nurses

Demonstrated Outcomes

VNSNY brings rigorous clinical discipline to the practice of hospice care, with proven outcomes including:

  • Average 30 days hospitalization rate of just 3.4%2
  • 94% of caregivers would recommend 3

The VNSNY Hospice Team

VNSNY leverages an innovative model of hospice care designed to elevate the quality of care your patients receive. It promotes increased collaboration via an interdisciplinary care team whose members are specially trained in hospice.

  • VNSNY hospice physician—full-time and board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine
  • Registered nurse—with advanced degrees and/or certified in hospice and palliative care
  • Hospice specialty aide—with advanced training for the particular needs of hospice patients, including help with symptom management and serving as an advocate for the patient and family
  • Social worker
  • Spiritual care counselor
  • Bereavement counselor
  • Volunteers

Who is a Candidate for Hospice Care?

A wide variety of patients can benefit from hospice care, including those diagnosed with cardiopulmonary disease, dementia, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, or any end-stage disease.

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your patient may be a candidate:

  • Would you be surprised if this patient lived longer than one year?*
  • Is the patient experiencing more frequent hospitalizations or ED visits?
  • Would a conversation about goals of care for the time remaining relieve anxiety or improve this patient’s quality of life?

Additional information on who is a candidate for hospice care can be found in the VNSNY Hospice Candidate Card resource.

*This is a helpful screening question used nationally. Actual eligibility for hospice requires patient’s physician to certify terminal illness (life expectancy of 6 months or less).

Contact Us

To learn more or to refer a patient to VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care, call us anytime at 1-212-609-1900.

To refer a patient to VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care, please use one of the following three options:

  1. Submit electronically with the e-Referral Form.
  2. Fax the Hospice Referral Form to 1-212-290-1825.
  3. Call our Referral Center at 1-212-609-1900.

Submit hospice referrals electronically


1. Kathleen T. Unroe & D. E. Meier, Palliative Care and Hospice: Opportunities to Improve Care for the Sickest Patients, 25 Notre Dame J. L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 413 (2012)
2. 2015 VNSNY HPC Enterprise Quality dashboard (based on quarterly data submitted to CMS).
3. CAHPS 1st Quarter 2015 Caregiver Experience Survey. Data aggregates percent of caregivers who would “definitely” or “probably” recommend VNSNY Hospice.

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