Hospice and palliative care empower people facing a serious or life-limiting illness to live as fully as possible, surrounded and supported by family and loved ones. As Medicare’s first proven coordinated care model, Hospice is a program that works, offering person-centered, compassionate care, ensuring people dignity, choice, and quality of life, involving an interdisciplinary, team-oriented approach to treatment, including expert medical care, quality symptom control, and comprehensive pain management as a foundation of care.
Beyond providing physical treatment, Hospice attends to the patient’s emotional, spiritual, and family needs, and provides family services such as respite care and bereavement counseling; and in an increasingly fragmented and broken health care system, Hospice is one of the few sectors that demonstrates how health care can, and should, work at its best for its patient, with a growing body of peer-reviewed research indicating that timely access to hospice and palliative care can decrease hospitalizations and Emergency Department visits and increase quality of life for patients and family caregivers.
Every year more than 1.5 million Americans living with life-limiting illness and their families received care from the nation’s hospice programs in communities throughout the United States; hospice and palliative care organizations are advocates and educators about advance care planning that help individuals make decisions about the care they want. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have pledged to put patients first in all of its programs — including Hospice — ensuring a coordinated and patient-led approach to care, protecting patient choice and access to individualized services based on a patient’s unique care needs and wishes.
The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed that the month of November be known as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. They further proclaimed that all citizens are encouraged to increase their understanding and awareness of care through the end of life and to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs.
Margit Miller / Calvert Hospice