Frequently Asked Questions
Is hospice appropriate for you or a loved one?
Hospice is medically supervised care for those
with life-limiting illness. The focus is on symp-
tom management and providing comfort for the
patient and family.
Where is hospice care provided?
Care is provided in the comfort of the patient’s
home. This may be a private residence, nursing
home or assisted living facility. Patients may
require care in an inpatient setting for a short
time. Patients will be stabilized, made comfort-
able, and returned to a home setting. Memorial
Hermann Hospice has a dedicated Hospice
inpatient unit at Memorial Hermann Southwest
Hospital. We also have many inpatient hospice
beds throughout the city.
How do I initiate hospice care?
Anyone can inquire about hospice services.
Request a referral from your physician noting
Memorial Hermann Hospice as your preferred
choice or simply contact Memorial Hermann
Hospice at 713.338.7400 and we will assist you
in the process.
Who pays for hospice care?
Hospice is covered 100 percent through
Medicare Part A. Medicaid, private insurance and
private payments are also options for non-Medi-
What illnesses are considered life-limiting or
appropriate for hospice?
Appropriate illnesses include a wide range of
life-limiting diseases, including but not limited
to cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD), liver and kidney disease, AIDS, multiple
sclerosis and ALS.
Are all hospices the same?
No. “Hospice” is a medical specialty like pedi-
atrics, geriatrics, oncology, etc. Each hospice is
a different company. All hospices have the same
general philosophy but their services may differ.
Some hospices are for-profit corporations, while
others (like Memorial Hermann Hospice) are not-
for-profit organizations. In Texas, it is your right
to request the hospice of your choice if more than
one hospice serves your area.
By choosing hospice, will I not have as long to be
with my loved one?
No. Our goal is always to alleviate suffering
and manage symptoms. Hospice does nothing to
speed up or slow down the dying process. Our role
is to lend support and allow the disease process to
unfold as naturally and comfortably as possible.
How long can you receive hospice care?
While a physician must certify that an individual
has approximately six months to live if the disease
process runs its normal course, many people are
on hospice for much longer. As long as a person
meets hospice criteria and a physician re-certifies
that the six-month prognosis is probable, then
a person may continue on service. Medicare
requires that a person be certified each benefit
period: two 90-day periods followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods.
Can a person stop hospice care?
If an individual’s health improves or illness goes into remission, they will likely no longer
need hospice care. A person also has the right
to stop receiving hospice care for any reason at
any time. If one is eligible, he or she may be
readmitted to hospice care at any time.