What is Hospice?
Hospice care honors veterans with choice, comfort and dignity at end of life. Providing veterans with more choices regarding care during the final phase of their lives is critical. Hospice provides a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, home health aides, counselors and chaplains to manage pain and symptoms, social, spiritual and emotional support. The veteran also receives medication and equipment, 24-hour on-call support, respite care, and bereavement support for family members.
Who Qualifies for the VA Hospice Benefit?
All veterans enrolled in the VA are eligible for hospice care if their treatment goals focus on comfort rather than cure, and they have a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness with a life expectancy of six months or less.
Where is Hospice Care Provided?
Veterans may receive care in their home environment, including private homes, senior housing, assisted living and long-term care facilities, group homes, homeless shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, VA nursing home care units, and state veterans’ homes.
How Do the VA and Hospices Cooperate?
Veterans can receive care from both the hospice and VA at the same time. Hospice and VA staff work together to coordinate the veteran’s care, and referrals for hospice care can come from either the VA to the hospice or from the hospice to the VA.
How Does a Veteran Enroll in the VA Health Care System?
A veteran must be enrolled in the VA to receive VA benefits. He or she should contact a State Veterans Service Officer, the VA Benefits Officer, or a Veterans Service Organization. The VA will initiate an enrollment process which determines each veteran’s eligibility for VA benefits.
Who Pays for Veteran’s Hospice Care?
Hospice care services are covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare and Medicaid, or by private insurance. No one is ever denied care based on their inability to pay or their ethnicity, age, gender, mental or physical status, or religion.