Hospice Inpatient and Home Care services are specialized health care programs that operate with the goal of maintaining quality of life through management of pain and other symptoms. Hospice programs provide medical and health care services consisting of palliative and support care for patients with a progressive illness and their families.
The care of patients and families shall be conducted with an overriding concern for the family unit and above all, the recognition of their dignity and the protection of their rights. Consistent with state laws, the patient’s family or guardian may exercise the patient’s rights when the patient is unable to do so.
There is no set time for discharge from The Connecticut Hospice. If a patient remains stable, i.e., has no new symptoms and does not require changes in his/her daily care, then the health care team will begin to discuss with the patient and family where the patient may be served more appropriately. If a patient exhibits symptoms and continues to need intensive medical and nursing care, then he/she may remain at The Connecticut Hospice. Patients who remain stable are discharged either to home or to another facility. Most times, Hospice Home Care will continue to follow these patients at home or, if The Connecticut Hospice has a contract with the other facility, in that facility. At any point when the patient develops more symptoms, he/she may be readmitted to the hospice facility for symptom control or terminal care.
If a patient remains stable, then he/she may be discharged to home or another facility. Sometimes patients are eligible to remain at The Connecticut Hospice for care, but want to see their homes one more time. With support from their families, patients may be able to go home for a visit during the day.
The Connecticut Hospice has an inpatient hospital and provides home care services. In both settings, medical and nursing care, social work, arts therapy, spiritual care, physical therapy, Reikki massage, and volunteer visits are available. The nurse or other health care provider places a request with a service for the patient. Volunteers may assist a family with rides to the inpatient facility if needed.
There are no set visiting hours at The Connecticut Hospice. Friends and family are required to sign in at the front desk and may proceed to the second floor to visit their loved one. In the evening and overnight, family and visitors are asked to respect the peaceful and calm atmosphere so that patients may be able to sleep.
Anyone with a terminal illness (i.e., an illness that cannot be cured by medical intervention) is eligible for hospice care. For those people who desire control of symptoms, The Connecticut Hospice provides appropriate medical, nursing and alternative interventions to decrease symptoms and discomfort.
This program is called CAN SUPPORT and services are provided both at the inpatient facility and in home care. For those people whose illness is entering its final stages, The Connecticut Hospice provides comfort care to eliminate pain and suffering at the end of life. Often, patients report feeling much more comfortable and being able to actively participate in life until the very end.
For people who do have Medicare, the Medicare Hospice Benefit (part of Medicare A) pays 100% for hospice services. For those who have private insurance, hospice representatives contact the insurance company and set up a contract for care.
Pets are allowed at The Connecticut Hospice. Dogs and cats should be on leashes and not allowed to roam free. Other animals are also welcome. We do have volunteers who bring their pets in for patients to enjoy.
There is no age limitation for visitors. Children must be supervised and remain respectful of other patients’ rights. The arts department may be able to provide activities while children’s parents are visiting loved ones. This is best arranged in advance through the patient’s nurse.
All medications for medical conditions are continued once someone becomes a hospice patient. Changes in medications occur when the patient’s condition requires different medications, i.e., a patient has more pain or is unable to swallow pills. In both cases, different medications may be prescribed and other medications discontinued. Hospice clinicians consult with the patient and his/her family when medication changes need to be made.
The Connecticut Hospice employs physicians and nurse practitioners who provide palliative care to patients. Hospice clinicians do consult with patients’ community physicians to determine extent of illness, treatments and interventions already trialed, and any further appropriate treatment planned. The Hospice clinicians do have specialized training in control of symptoms and, therefore, are hospice patients’ primary providers at the inpatient facility. Home care patients are managed by their own physicians, but hospice clinicians are available to make home visits and suggest treatments and interventions.
Patient Bill of Rights
- The patient/family have the right to exercise his/her rights as a Hospice patient.
- Be fully informed of health status unless contradicted by their physician.
- Make decisions about health care, including completion of advance directives: a living will, a health care agent, an attorney-in-fact for health care and/or a conservator.
- Receive necessary information by designated Hospice staff about services covered (under hospice benefit) to give informed consent prior to being admitted to The Connecticut Hospice, Inc. system to care and/or treatment.
- Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of possible consequences of his/her decision.
- Participate or choose whether to participate in a research study and understand Hospice will protect them and respect their rights during research.
- Request a change of caregiver without fear of consequences.
- Request discharge from The Connecticut Hospice program or choose non-hospice care (for example: hospice care outside the plan of care) and transfer to another system of care, or care by family.
- Receive complete information/explanation concerning needs for an alternative to such a transfer. Hospice must provide evaluation, service and referral as indicated by the patient’s situation.
- Expect access to information delineating the process of registration, review and resolution of patient/family complaints.
- To ask for more information concerning anything you do not understand.
- The patient/family have the responsibility to give The Connecticut Hospice an accurate and complete health history when requested to do so.
- The patient/family will be actively involved in developing and implementing a plan of care, which will include the use of all appropriate personnel and community resources.
- The patient/family and their Hospice caregiver have a right to mutual respect and dignity.
- The patient/family have the right to appropriate, considerate, ethical and respectful care regardless of race, creed, sex, sexual preference, national origin, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay or source of payment for care.
- The patient has the right to receive effective pain management and symptom control and have any reports of pain accepted and acted on by Hospice Health Care professionals.
- Patients have the right to have their pain controlled, no matter what its cause or how severe it may be. Pain is considered the fifth vital sign, and patients admitted to Connecticut Hospice programs can expect that pain will be regularly assessed and treated for all patients. The patient has the right to expect that pain will be controlled to their satisfaction.
- The patient has a right to be free from mistreatment, neglect, verbal, mental, sexual and physical injury including those of an unknown source and misappropriation of patient property by anyone furnishing services on behalf of the hospice which are reported by hospice staff to administration. All allegations involving anyone furnishing services on behalf of Hospice will be investigated and Hospice will take immediate action to prevent further occurrence during the investigation. The Hospice will take all appropriate action as required by law in a timely manner.
Should the patient/family be displeased with Connecticut Hospice service, or fails to be furnished necessary services, or there is lack of respect for property, they have the right to file a complaint without fear of discrimination or reprisal from The Connecticut Hospice, Inc. First, discuss your complaint with your Hospice Staff Nurse. If you are not satisfied with the resolution, call (203) 315-7500.
- For inpatient: ask to speak to the Director of Nursing/Director of Quality Management.
- For Home Care: ask to speak to the Vice President of Home Care/Director of Quality Management.
- The patient/family may register verbal or written questions, concerns or complain to either of the following:
- Connecticut Department of Public Health (860) 509-7400
- JCAHO (630) 916-5600
- Available 24 hours per day
An ombudsman is available upon request. The patient/family also have the right to know the disposition of such complaints. The patient/family have the responsibility to voice any concerns or problems you might have to the Connecticut Hospice staff.
The patient/family have the right to:
- An explanation of any bill for services regardless of sources of payment.
- Receive a written statement of services offered and charges for services with 30-day notice of any change in charges.
- Be informed of the extent to which payment may be expected from Medicare or any other payor known to the organization.
- To be informed of the charges for which the patient may be liable.
- To be informed of any charges not covered by Medicare or other payor.
- Request information about financial or billing concerns.
In considering an application for uncompensated care, families are encouraged to meet with the Finance Department to discuss any private pay arrangements that can be undertaken by the family. When it is determined that all or a portion of a bill cannot be paid on a private pay basis, uncompensated care is then considered.
You may receive answers to your questions or concerns about Medicare home health care services by dialing the toll-free Medicare hotline: 1-800-828-9769. Hotline is available 24 hours a day.
The patient and family have the right to:
- A confidential clinical record.
- Consideration of privacy concerning their program of care, information regarding their health, social and financial circumstances.
- Unrestricted visitors and communication.
- An explanation if any restrictions are necessary.
- Expect that records pertaining to the patient/family shall be confidential and released only as consistent with The Connecticut Hospice internal policy or as otherwise required or authorized by law or third party payment contract.
The patient/person designated in writing by the patient has access to the patient’s medical record. The Hospice Medical Director and Vice President of Clinical Operations or designee must be present when the medical record is reviewed by patient or designated other.
The patient/family have the right to:
- Expect reasonable safety of Hospice inpatient, outpatient and home care practices and to receive care of the highest quality.
- Be told what to do in case of an emergency.
- Know what Hospice rules and regulations apply to the conduct of the patient/family and the rights and privileges of the patient/family as the unit of care.
- Be provided an interpreter and hearing-impaired services, as appropriate.
- Refuse care and treatment.
- Choose his/her attending physician.
- Receive information about the scope of services that the Hospice will provide and specific limitations on those services.
- Participate in the development of your Hospice care plan.
The patient family has the responsibility to:
- To follow the plan of care
- Provide and maintain a safe home environment (for Home Care).
- To call and cancel the visit if they are not home (for Home Care).
- To assist in safe entry into their home (for Home Care).
- To follow the plan of care
- To make any choice of non-hospice care known to Hospice as soon as practical.