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Hospice

Hospice is a concept of care that involves health professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological, and spiritual support to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. Hospice stresses quality of life—peace, comfort, and dignity. A principal aim of hospice is to control pain and other symptoms so the patient can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice services are available to persons who can no longer benefit from curative treatment; the typical hospice patient has a life expectancy of 6 months or less. Hospice programs provide services in various settings: the home, hospice centers, hospitals, or skilled nursing facilities. Patients' families are also an important focus of hospice care, and services are designed to provide them with the assistance and support they need.

Local Hospice Resources:

  • Alive Hospice
    615-327-1085 1-800-327-1085
    www.alivehospice.org
    Robertson, Cheatham, Dickson, Williamson, Davidson, Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, Bedford, Coffee, Cannon, DeKalb
  • Hospice Compassus
    Brentwood Home Office: 615-377-7022 or 877-377-1607
    Davidson, Williamson and surrounding counties
    Tullahoma Office: 931-455-9118
    Bedford, Coffee, Cannon, Franklin, Moore, Grundy
    Columbia Office: 931-381-4090
    Maury, Marshall, Lewis, Lawrence, Giles, Hickman
  • Odyssey Hospice
    615-365-1009 or 1-800-423-1904
    www.odsyhealth.com
    Cannon, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Williamson, Wilson
  • Avalon Hospice
    www.avalon-hospice.com
    Nashville 615-889-5995 or 1-866-5995
    Chattanooga 423-892-3737 or 1-877-892-3737
    Athens 423-745-1730
    Dickson 615-326-0128
  • Gateway Hospice in Clarksville
    931-552-9551
    www.todaysgateway.com
  • Aseracare Hospice
    www.aseracare.com
    Nashville 615-316-2243 or 866-448-1803
    Clarksville 931-551-4100 or 866-551-4100
    Jackson 731-660-4283 or 866-869-4715
    McKenzie 731-352-1340 or 866-553-6121
    Memphis 1-800-226-8284 or 901-309-1855
    Tullahoma 1-866-448-1804
  • WillowBrook Hospice
    615-399-2220 or 615-791-8499
    www.willowbrookhealth.com
    Robertson, Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, Marshall, Maury, Hickman, Dickson, Cheatham, Williamson, Davidson
  • Guardian Hospice
    615-771-8979 or 1-800-771-2083
    www.guardianhospice.us
    Davidson, Williamson, Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman
  • Caris Hospice
    1-800-467-7423
    www.carishealthcare.com
    Athens, Chattanooga, Columbia, Cookeville, Crossville, Dickson, Johnson City, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Milan, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Sevierville, Somerville, Springfield, Greeneville
  • Hospice of Sumner County
    615-328-6690 or 1-800-328-6690
    www.sumnerhomecare.org
    Robertson, Davidson, Sumner, Macon, Trousdale, Wilson, Smith
  • Mohagny Hospice Care
    615-254-6345
    Davidson, Cheatham, Robertson, Dickson, Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson, Williamson
  • Gateway Hospice
    931-552-9551
    Robertson, Cheatham, Stewart, Montgomery, Houston, Dickson

National Hospice Resources:

The following resources may offer assistance for people seeking hospice care and information:

  • The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is an association of programs that provide hospice and palliative care. It is designed to increase awareness about hospice services and to champion the rights and issues of terminally ill patients and their family members. They offer discussion groups, publications, information about how to find a hospice, and information about the financial aspects of hospice. Some Spanish-language publications are available, and staff are able to answer calls in Spanish.

    Address: Suite 625, 1700 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314
    Telephone: 703–837–1500
    1–800–658–8898 (Helpline)
    E-mail: info@nhpco.org
    Web site: http://www.nhpco.org

  • The Hospice Association of America (HAA) can provide facts and statistics about hospice programs, and can also supply the publication Information About Hospice: A Consumer's Guide. This guide offers information about the advantages and financial aspects of hospice, how to select quality hospice care that is best suited for a patient's needs, and state resources available to patients.

    Address: 228 Seventh Street, SE. , Washington, DC 20003
    Telephone: 202–546–4759
    Web site: http://www.nahc.org/HAA/home.html

  • The Hospice Education Institute offers information and referrals on various hospice programs around the country and provides regional seminars on hospice care throughout the United States. Comments or suggestions about hospice programs are also welcomed from health professionals and hospice volunteers.

    Address: 190 Westbrook Road, Essex, CT 06426–1510
    Telephone: 860–767–1620
    1–800–331–1620
    E-mail: HOSPICEALL@aol.com
    Web site: http://www.hospiceworld.org

  • The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers a variety of services to hospice patients and their families. The ACS has free fact sheets and publications about hospice as well. The address of a local ACS chapter may be obtained by calling their toll-free telephone number.

    Telephone: 1–800–ACS–2345
    Web site: http://www.cancer.org

  • Hospice Net is an organization that works exclusively through the Internet. It contains more than one hundred articles regarding end-of-life issues and is dedicated to providing information and support to patients, families, and friends facing life-threatening illnesses.

    E-mail: questions@hospicenet.org
    Website: http://www.hospicenet.org

For many people, some hospice expenses are paid by health insurance plans (either group policies offered by employers or individual policies). Information about the types of medical costs covered by a particular policy is available from an employee's personnel office, a hospital or hospice social worker, or an insurance company. Medical costs that are not covered by insurance are sometimes tax deductible.

Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly or disabled that is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the Federal Government, provides payment for hospice care. When a patient receives services from a Medicare-certified hospice, Medicare hospital insurance pays almost the entire cost, even for some medications that would not be paid for outside a hospice program. For information about the location of Medicare-certified hospice programs, people can call their state health department; the telephone number may be found in the state government section of a local telephone directory. The Medicare Hotline can answer general questions about Medicare benefits and coverage; it can also refer people to their regional home health intermediary for information about Medicare-certified hospice programs. The toll-free telephone number is 1–800–MEDICARE (1–800–633–4227); deaf and hard of hearing callers with TTY equipment may call 1–877–486–2048. Medicare information can also be accessed at http://www.medicare.gov on the Internet.

Medicaid, a Federal program that is part of CMS and is administered by each state, is designed for patients who need financial assistance for medical expenses. Information about coverage is available from local state welfare offices, state public health departments, state social services agencies, or the state Medicaid office. Information about specific state locations may also be found at http://cms.hhs.gov/home/medicaid on the Internet.

In addition, local civic, charitable, or religious organizations also may be able to help patients and their families with hospice expenses.

Sources of National Cancer Institute Information

  • Cancer Information Service
    Toll-free: 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237)
    TTY (for deaf and hard of hearing callers): 1–800–332–8615

  • NCI Online
    Internet
    Use http://www.cancer.gov to reach NCI's Web site.

    LiveHelp
    Cancer Information Specialists offer online assistance through the LiveHelp link on the NCI's Web site.