Hospice FAQ

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is a specialized field that focuses on caring and comforting, rather than curing those with life-limiting illness. Many people think of hospice care as one large organization. In fact, there are more than 20 hospices operating in central Pennsylvania. Not all hospices are the same. We encourage you to learn about the differences between them.

Are all hospices connected?

No, all hospices are not connected. If you would like to be cared for by Hospice of Central PA (HCP), please ask for us by name.

What makes Hospice of Central PA unique?

HCP has many differences that make us special.

1. HCP is an independent nonprofit. This allows us to focus entirely on the care of our patients and families - no matter their age, diagnosis, or ability to pay. We always put people first.

2. HCP is focused on quality. We received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission, a nationally recognized expert in assessing the safe and effective delivery of care. HCP is the only hospice in the capital region with this accreditation.

3. Our compassionate and specially trained staff includes full-time physicians certified in hospice and palliative medicine.

4. Carolyn’s House provides a home-like setting when personal choices or medical needs make other options difficult. Carolyn’s House is the only hospice residence in the capital region.

5. HCP was selected by Medicare to Pilot a Pre-Hospice Care Transition Program (MCCM).

6. HCP honors veterans through respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgement.

7. The Journey Program offers bereavement programs free to the community regardless of a connection to HCP, or hospice care.

8. HCP offers free community education and outreach regarding caregiving and end-of-life care at no cost to the community.

9. Camp Dragonfly is a free weekend bereavement camp for children ages 6 to 15.

When is hospice care appropriate?

Hospice care is appropriate when treatments are no longer effective and the burden of the disease or condition becomes too much to bear for the patient and family. Our goal is to provide relief from physical and emotional pain so that patients and loved ones can get the most from their remaining days.

What conditions are common to hospice care?

While almost any end-stage condition can benefit from hospice care, the most frequently seen conditions are advanced-stage cancers, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and dementia.

Where is hospice care provided?

Hospice is a philosophy of care rather than a place. Most hospice patients receive care in their home, or in the home of a loved one or friend. Care can also be provided in many long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals and nursing homes.

Who pays for hospice care?

Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurance plans pay for hospice care. There are typically few, if any, out-of-pocket expenses associated with hospice care; however, our care is provided regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. We receive generous contributions from the community who enable us to care for our neighbors.