What is Hospice?

Our hospice care works closely with patients’ attending physicians, and we partner with hospitals, nursing homes, insurers and community-based organizations throughout the country to enhance our ability to address the discomfort, fears and high expenses that often accompany an incurable illness. This collaborative approach meets the specific needs of the terminally ill and their families, promoting comfort and preserving dignity while offering options and choices that go far beyond accepted medical standards.

Where Does Hospice Care Happen?

We provide hospice care in patients’ homes, as well as in dedicated inpatient hospice units, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities—wherever people could benefit from hospice care. The goal is to support patients and manage their care in the setting they consider home.

If at some point a patient needs more constant care, VITAS can provide shifts of hospice staff for a brief period to help the patient at home. If a patient needs care beyond what can be safely provided at home, VITAS has special arrangements with local hospitals and other facilities where patients may receive necessary inpatient care to manage the crisis until they can once again return home.

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal and most private insurance. Since VITAS accepts Medicare and Medicaid as coverage for hospice care, there are no out-of-pocket expenses for eligible patients or their loved ones.