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What is Hospice Care?

What is hospice and what does hospice do? Hospice is a philosophy of care focused on comfort and quality of life, intended to give seriously ill patients and their loved ones meaningful time together when the focus is on the people, not the disease.

Hospice is “comfort care,” meaning it aggressively treats pain and other symptoms without trying to cure the illness. It is a whole package of care services that is almost always provided at the patient’s home, whether that’s a private residence or a care facility.

What is hospice? Hospice is not about giving up. And it's not a place, it's a service. Watch these videos to learn more about what hospice is - and what it isn't.

What Services Does Hospice Provide?

At VITAS, we work closely with our patients’ doctors. We partner with hospitals, nursing homes, insurers and community-based organizations to address the discomfort, fears and high expenses that often accompany an incurable illness. This approach meets the needs of our patients and their families and helps manage care transitions: from hospital to home, from curative to palliative, from chronic to advanced.

Where Does Hospice Care Happen?

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

Who Pays for Hospice?

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal and most private insurance. Since VITAS accepts Medicare and Medicaid as 100 percent coverage for its hospice services, there are no out-of-pocket expenses for eligible patients or their loved ones. Learn more >