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Questions & Answers

What is hospice and palliative care?

Hospice and palliative care is a philosophy of comfort driven care and support delivered by trained professionals for those with a life-limiting illness and their families.

What conditions qualify for hospice and palliative care services?

Hospice and palliative care services are for patients with a wide-range of life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, lung disease, neurological disorders, HIV/AIDS and many other diagnoses.

Where are services provided?

Services are provided wherever you call home.  Family Hospice and Palliative Care provides services to patients at home, in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and our two inpatient hospice centers in Mt. Lebanon and UPMC Canterbury Place in Lawrenceville.

How long has Family Hospice and Palliative Care provided services?

Family Hospice has been serving patients and families since 1980 and is the leading hospice and palliative care provider in Western Pennsylvania.

When and how is a decision made about hospice?

At any time it is appropriate to discuss all care options, including advance care planning and hospice. You and your family may choose to discuss goals and appropriate services with your physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy and/or friends. The decision belongs to you and your loved ones. Family Hospice staff is always available to discuss how to help you.

Does insurance pay for hospice services?

Yes. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers cover all hospice services including durable medical equipment and all illness-related medications. As a not-for-profit agency, Family Hospice also provides many services where there is no insurance reimbursement. Free care is provided for those who qualify under federal poverty guidelines.

What geographical area does Family Hospice serve?

Family Hospice provides services in thirteen counties in Western Pennsylvania.

Do I have to change physicians?

No. Family Hospice staff will work with your physician.

How do I begin services?

Simply call the Family Hospice referral line at 1-800-513-2148 to inquire about our program or to make a referral. Family Hospice will contact you to arrange for services. In order to receive hospice care, a patient must receive a life-limiting diagnosis from a physician (with a life expectancy of six months or less).

If I am on a hospice program, can I opt for additional curative treatment for my illness?

You are always in charge. If you decide to pursue curative treatment for your condition, Family Hospice staff will work with you to make the appropriate arrangements.

How long can someone be on hospice?

Patients can remain on hospice as long as deemed both medically appropriate by their physician and of continued benefit by the recipients of the service. Patients sometimes experience improved health and do not need to continue hospice support. If their condition deteriorates later, they can be readmitted.

Is my hospice team available at night and on weekends?

Yes. The team is just a phone call away. The Family Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Is there help for loved ones who are grieving?

Yes. Family Hospice bereavement staff offers support through personal contact, individual counseling and grief support groups.