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Hospice is a special team-oriented approach to caring for the terminally ill and their families by providing medical, physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and bereavement support. Hospice focuses on caring, not curing, and in most cases the care is provided in the patient’s home. Our Hospice program serves patients with a variety of diagnoses, including cancer but also any patient with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Patients whose doctors agree they have a prognosis of six months or less are eligible to enter the Hospice program.
 
Hospice care is covered by most insurance plans including Medicare.
 
The Hospice team is a complete support system. Members include the Hospice medical director, spiritual advisor, the Hospice patient care coordinator, skilled nursing, a medical social worker, home health aides, volunteers, physical therapist, occupational therapist, message therapist, and speech therapist. And of course, the patient and family are closely involved in all care decisions.

Our Hospice program engages dozens of trained volunteers who work directly with patients and families. They are a valuable part of the Hospice team. For information on training as a Hospice volunteer, please contact Gloria Richard at (413) 664-4536 or at grichard@nbhealth.org.
 
Hospice of Northern Berkshire is a fully licensed and certified hospice program including supportive care. Offering a special way of caring, trained professionals and volunteers provide physical, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support plus companionship and respite for the terminally ill and their families.
 
Services include:
• Pain and symptom management: assessment and treatment
• Support of family members inpatient care
• Home health aide services
• Emotional and spiritual support
• Bereavement counseling for a full year for the entire family
• Nutritional counseling
• Short-term hospital care when needed
• Durable medical equipment and supplies
 
Medicare certified
We are able to provide Medicare hospice benefits. Patients will receive 100 percent of their medications, medical equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness at no cost. Deductibles are waived. Many other health insurance plans also pay for hospice services.
 
Admission to the Hospice Program
(413) 664-4536
Indicators for referral to Hospice care:
  • Palliative care needs
  • Respite care needs for the terminal patient or the caregiver
  • Ongoing needs for counseling and coping for patient and family that are not covered by routine home care benefits
  • Extensive pain and symptom management, psychological or spiritual case needs
  • Need for advanced care coordination
Upon intake, each referral should include the following information about the patient:
  • Demographics (name, address, gender, etc.)
  • Date of birth
  • Medications
  • Insurance numbers
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatments and orders
  • Primary care physician
  • Emergency contact
  • Hospitalization date
  • History and physical with six-month prognosis
This ensures speedy turnaround time between intake and visit. It also ensures that the process flows easily and quickly.

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