Making the decision to start hospice care can be difficult. At VNSNY, we make it as easy as possible for you to get the information you need to make the best decision about your loved one’s care.
Here are answers to some questions you might have. Feel free to call us anytime if you need more information or have any concerns. We are more than happy to answer your questions.
When you enroll in VNSNY Hospice Care, your loved one may be able to receive many services that are not part of regular home care. For example, Medicare’s hospice benefit covers the costs if your loved one wants to talk to a social worker or if you would like a dietitian to help you figure out the best foods for your loved one. Medicare does not cover these extra services with home care.
The first step is to call VNSNY Hospice Care at 1-212-609-1900. When you call, you’ll speak to a hospice intake coordinator, who will explain how to sign up for VNSNY Hospice.
Here are some of the things the intake coordinator will ask about when you call. It’s okay if you don’t know all of the answers.
Next, the intake coordinator will set up a visit from a hospice admissions nurse. The admissions nurse will meet with you and your loved one. The nurse will take the patient’s vital signs and also ask about their symptoms. Then they will explain in more detail what hospice includes, answer any questions, and help you decide about choosing hospice.
At VNSNY Hospice, we understand that people often call to get information to share with family members—and that those conversations often lead to more questions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you or your family members have, as often as necessary. We want you to be comfortable with your decision.
Anyone—a patient, family member, caregiver, or doctor—can make the first call about hospice care. Once you decide to start hospice care, VNSNY Hospice will contact the doctor to confirm the need for hospice. We will also confirm insurance. (Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, and most other insurance plans fully cover hospice care.)
Once your loved one is admitted to hospice care, a hospice nurse will come to you within two days of the admissions visit. During this first visit, the nurse will:
If you and your loved one decide that it is time to enroll in VNSNY Hospice, the admissions nurse will ask you to sign consent forms (the patient’s representative must sign if the patient is unable to). This allows us to begin providing care.
You’ll also receive our Patient and Family Handbook. This handbook provides important information about caring for your loved one when they are on hospice and about what you should do in an emergency. You will be able to call VNSNY’s caregiver help line, which is available 24/7. When you call, you can talk to a hospice nurse and arrange for them to come as soon as possible if there is an emergency.
Remember that although the members of our care teams are experts on hospice care, you are the expert on your loved one. The hospice team will always respect your and your loved one’s wishes.