About Hospice Care

Hospice is a model of care that focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients at the end of life. Hospice in adult patients is for those who are no longer receiving curative treatments, either by choice or necessity. To qualify for hospice a patient must have a terminal illness, that should it continue to take its expected course, result in a life expectancy of six months or less. The six-month prognosis requirement is selected as part of the eligibility criteria for the Medicare Hospice Benefit, which some equate with hospice. Under hospice care, medical care is reprioritized to make comfort the top priority. Therefore hospice–type care is sometimes called comfort care. Quality of life becomes more important than quantity of life.

Recognizing and acknowledging that death is the ultimate reality for all is not only difficult for patients, but also for healthcare providers. Dying has become an unwelcome part of medicine. Viewing death simply as a failure of medicine strips away the true meaning of death. This approach unfortunately implies that death is an unexpected and undesirable outcome to any illness. Dying usually occurs in either hospitals or nursing homes, which tend to further medicalize the last days of life. It can lead to missed opportunities for a peaceful death, instead providing patients and families burdensome treatment that extends disability and creates huge emotional and financial stress.

In efforts to ensure a peaceful death, hospice care utilizes a multidisciplinary team, including nurses, physicians, APPs, nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains and volunteers to help address all aspects of care—physical, functional, emotional, and spiritual/existential. Hospice care can either be provided at home or in a facility, depending on the needs of a patient.

AHN and Hospice

AHN’s not-for-profit hospice agency is Pine Pointe Hospice. Pine Pointe cares for dying patients at home as well as in their free-standing inpatient hospice facility for patients with a high symptom burden. If you are interested in learning more about Pine Pointe, please visit their website at Pine Pointe Hospice at Macon, Georgia- Navicent Health - Atrium Health Navicent

Pine Pointe Hospice Building