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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does in-home care cost?

    Our home help services are tailored to each client’s needs. The cost of in-home care depends on several factors, including the:

    • Type of home caregiver services needed
    • Number of hours of care per week
    • Location where services will be delivered

    To get a personalized cost estimate, call the Amedisys caregiver agency near you or (800) 281-0878. We can talk through options that work with your budget.

  • How can I pay for home care?

    Personal care is often families’ first choice for senior care. It can be a cost-effective way to age in place and an appealing alternative to nursing home care. Amedisys is committed to keeping your expenses as low as possible. We accept:

    • Private pay (out-of-pocket)
    • Payment through long-term care insurance, or other insurance for eligible individuals
    • Payment through local elder state health systems (such as Aging Services Access Points, or ASAPs)
    • Workers’ compensation insurance

    Amedisys may be able to provide documentation to support clients with their long-term care insurance claims. Give us a call to learn more. We can also guide you through your payment options, help you find community resources you may be eligible for, and create a cost-effective plan of care that works with your budget.

  • Will I need to pay my caregiver directly?

    No. Clients are typically invoiced weekly, after the completion of services. You do not have to pay your homecare professional directly.

  • How is my loved one’s at-home caregiver chosen?

    It’s important to us that you feel comfortable with your personal care attendant. For this reason, we strongly encourage your involvement in choosing a caregiver.

    As part of our initial assessment, we’ll learn about the qualities you’re looking for in a care assistant. This helps us match your loved one with someone who is well-suited to their needs. If your loved one feels the caregiver is a good fit, we’ll begin care. If the personal caregiver doesn’t meet your expectations, we’ll work with you until we find the right match. Your satisfaction is our top priority.

  • How will I know my caregiver is trustworthy?

    All of our private caregivers are fully insured, in accordance with state law, and fully bonded against theft. In addition, we thoroughly screen and train our home attendants. As one of the leading home care companies in the U.S., we are able to attract highly qualified caregivers and have thorough criteria and checks in place to ensure our caregivers are deserving of your trust. We also have rigorous training programs in place to support ongoing learning and development.

  • Is my home aid supervised?

    Yes. Our care is overseen by a nursing professional. Nurses conduct assessments and provide oversight, case management and care planning to help ensure your loved one receives high-quality personal care. The care team stays in close communication with the family and healthcare team about the client’s condition and needs.

    We also use several tools to hold our caregivers accountable. For example, we verify time and attendance, so you can have a written record of home care visits.

  • What happens if my elderly helper isn’t available?

    We have back-up coverage in the event your private sitter gets sick or is unavailable. Back-up caregivers will have a similar level of skill and training as your main caregiver. They’ll also be updated on the client’s care plan before visiting your loved one. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With a network of over 2,000 elderly caregivers, our clients don’t have to worry about being left unattended during pre-arranged schedules.

  • Will the same private duty caregiver visit me consistently?

    The bond between clients and caregivers is the foundation of a successful home care experience. For this reason, we work diligently to match your loved one with a home care professional who is compatible and sets them at ease.

    Depending on the type of care your loved one needs, they can generally expect to see the same personal attendant. If your needs or schedule changes, or your home caretaker is unavailable, we have a large network of elderly helpers who can provide back-up care.

  • What are some signs that my family member needs home care assistance?

    In-home personal care is often the first choice for seniors who prefer to stay in the comfort of home as they grow older. Families often look for private duty care when their loved one is struggling to live safely at home on their own. If your loved one would rather avoid going to a nursing home or other senior care facility as long as possible, private duty home care may be right for you.

    Signs your loved one may need personal home care include:

    • Falling frequently or having a fear of falling
    • Not bathing or changing clothes regularly
    • Missing doctor’s appointments
    • Skipping meals or eating mostly unhealthy foods
    • Leaving the stove on
    • Wandering from home
    • Wanting to stay home and out of a nursing home or other facility
    • Needing more care than insurance covers
    • Needing services that may not be covered by insurance, such as companionship or help with household chores
    • Requiring live-in or round-the-clock care to be able to stay safe at home

    We often work with seniors who don’t feel they need help. By quickly building rapport and demonstrating our usefulness, our caregivers are able to establish strong bonds.

  • How does home care benefit family caregivers and loved ones?

    In-home assistance offers vital support for family caregivers. For example:

    • Home care supplements the work of family caregivers, so you have the energy to continue providing effective care.
    • In-home caregivers are your eyes and ears for those times when you need to be away from home.
    • You can take a rest from your caregiving responsibilities to fulfill other obligations, recharge or take care of yourself.

    With the extra support private home care provides, many family caregivers feel greater satisfaction and closeness with their loved one. By practicing healthy self-care, you may experience improved health and emotional well-being as well.

  • Which personal care services does my loved one need?

    We approach each client as a unique individual, taking into account their preferences and goals. Our supervising nursing professionals are experienced in asking the right questions to understand which services will help your loved one most. We’ll set up an initial consultation to learn more about your situation and make personalized recommendations. Throughout your loved one’s time receiving personal care, we’ll monitor their needs so we can ensure they’re receiving the right services at the right time.

  • What’s the difference between live-in and 24-hour care?

    A live-in caregiver stays in your loved one’s home overnight, sleeping at night and providing care during the day.

    With 24-hour care, your loved one has two caregivers. Each one stays awake to provide care during a 12-hour shift, ensuring your loved one receives care around the clock.

  • When can personal care services start?

    We invest the time needed to find the right caregiver for our clients. Our goal is to start home caregiver visits within 48 hours.

  • What if I need to change my schedule?

    Our in-home caregivers adapt to your schedule. We can usually accommodate schedule changes with one week’s notice and do everything possible to be available during your preferred hours.

  • How long does private home care last?

    Home help services are flexible. Depending on your needs, you can arrange care for a few hours a week up to 24 hours a day. Private duty home care can continue just a few weeks, or it can be a source of lifelong support. Many of our clients find home care is a cost-effective alternative to nursing home care, so they continue receiving services for several years. There is no long-term obligation. You can increase or decrease services as your needs change.

  • What is the difference between home care and home health care?

    These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but home care and home health care are two different types of in-home care:

    • Home care is non-medical care, such as companionship and help with daily activities like bathing, moving around and household chores. It is often paid for out-of-pocket or through long-term care insurance.
    • Home health care is skilled care, such as nursing and physical therapy, which requires an order from a doctor. It is often paid for through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.

    Some people receive both home health care and personal home care at the same time. A home health aide through skilled home health services can assist with bathing and grooming. A caregiver through home care can provide additional support that isn’t covered by Medicare, such as companionship, light housekeeping and help with errands.

    If you’re unsure of the type of care you need, call our in-home care agency near you. Amedisys offers a full continuum of in-home care, including personal home care, home health care and hospice. We can help you navigate your options.

  • Do I need a doctor’s order for personal care?

    No. You do not need a doctor’s referral, certification or pre-authorization for our personal care services. You do not need to meet eligibility criteria. You can choose the home support services you want and get started on a time frame that works for you.

    By contrast, a doctor’s order is required for home health care, a type of in-home care that can include skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

  • Why use a home health aide agency for care?

    There are several benefits to choosing an elderly caregiver through an in-home care agency like Amedisys:

    • Our thorough screenings and trainings make it easier for families to find a well-qualified aide at home. This offers greater security and peace of mind, without having to take the time to check references or conduct your own background checks.
    • We employ over 2,000 private duty caregivers. When connecting your loved one with a compatible caregiver, we draw from an expansive network of home care specialists. This helps us find just the right match.
    • Homecare companies handle the logistics, such as paying taxes, maintaining insurance coverage and scheduling back-up care, so you can focus on other priorities.

  • How long have you provided home care assistance?

    Amedisys has provided personal home care since 1991.

  • Where do you provide care at home services?

    Amedisys currently offers home care services in Massachusetts, and around Jacksonville, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee. We can provide referrals to reputable caregiver agencies in your area if you need care outside our service area.

  • What in-home services do you provide?

    Amedisys provides a wide range of home care services, including grooming, bathing assistance and help with other daily activities, running errands, companionship, light housekeeping and more. Our care plans are flexible. Clients can get help a few hours a week up to 24 hours a day, depending on their needs.

  • How do I start care at home services with Amedisys?

    To get started, call the Amedisys home care agency near you or call (800) 281-0878. We’ll learn about your family’s needs and answer your questions about in-home care. After a complimentary home care consultation with a nurse, we’ll match you with a professional caregiver.

  • How Long Can You Be in Palliative Care?

    You can receive palliative care as long as services are medically necessary. That may mean until you enter hospice care or until you feel better and no longer need palliative services.

  • How Do I Get Palliative Care?

    You will need a referral from your physician (often a primary care provider) and a doctor’s order. An Amedisys care center near you can help with this process.

  • Who Pays for Palliative Care?

    Many people ask “Does Medicare pay for palliative care?” Palliative care services are typically covered by Medicare and some insurance plans. To learn more about the cost of palliative care, reach out to an Amedisys care center near you.

  • Are there currently any job openings near me?

    New job openings are posted each weekday to the Amedisys website. You can check for jobs in your area and field of expertise by visiting our Job Search page.

  • What do hospice volunteers do?

    Hospice volunteers are a special group of people that give of their time and talents to help patients and their families. They are available to visit with you and help run errands. They can also assist with daily activities and may read, sing, write letters, or just reminisce with you and your loved ones. Their support enhances the quality of life for patients and helps relieve some of the demands that are often placed on caregivers.

  • How can I learn more about the application process?

    Our Resume Submission Policy describes details of the application process, including how the information you submit will be used and stored.

  • Can I be cared for by hospice if I live in a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility?

    Yes. Hospice services typically can be provided wherever the patient calls home. In addition to the standard services provided by the nursing home or alternate care facility, residents will receive specialized visits from hospice nurses, hospice aides, chaplains, social workers and volunteers.

  • I forgot my Career Site Account password. How do I reset it?

    You can reset your password by clicking here or by using the ‘Forgot your password’ feature on our Career Site login page. You will need your account username and the email associated with your account. Forgot your username? Click here to have your login information sent to your email account.

  • How does hospice manage pain?

    In hospice care, we believe that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real as physical pain. Hospice nurses and doctors use the most effective medications and devices to relieve pain and other symptoms. They are joined by specialists who are trained in physical therapy, music therapy, art therapy, massage therapy and nutritional counseling to help maintain patient comfort. Finally, various counselors, including clergy, help with emotional and spiritual support for patients and and bereavement support for family members and caregivers.

  • What is my application E-signature?

    Your e-signature for your application is the password you used to log into your Career Site account.

  • What is hospice’s success rate in managing pain?

    Very high. Using a combination of medications, counseling and therapies, most people can attain an acceptable level of comfort to improve quality of life during end-of-life care.

  • I’ve submitted my application; what happens next?

    Thank you for applying to Amedisys! You will receive an email shortly after submitting your application confirming it is being reviewed by our recruiting team. If we feel you are a potential match, a member of our recruiting team will contact you, typically within two weeks.

    If we do not feel you meet the specific qualifications at this time, you will receive a notification that we will keep your resume on file for future opportunities.

  • Will medications prevent me or my loved one from being able to talk or know what’s happening?

    Usually not. In hospice, our goal is to help people live as actively as possible, free of pain or discomfort.

  • I received a notification from a recruiter to complete my application. Is there more for me to do?

    Your initial application was for general information, so we could get a better idea of your qualifications. If you received an email asking you to complete the full application, more information is needed from you. Please log back into your Career Site account to complete the full application.

  • Does hospice help the family after the death of the patient?

    Yes. Hospice provides continuing support for caregivers and families for up to 13 months following the loss of a loved one. We also sponsor bereavement support groups, conduct memorial services and provide support for anyone in the community who has experienced the loss of a friend or loved one.

  • Is Amedisys an Equal Opportunity employer?

    Amedisys is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, national origin, citizenship status, disability, military status, sexual orientation, genetic predisposition or carrier status or any other legally protected characteristic.

    In some cases we may ask applicants for demographic information for the purpose of monitoring equal opportunity or complying with applicable laws. This information will be recorded and separated from your application before the selection process begins.

  • How is hospice care different from home health care?

    Home health care helps people recover from an illness or injury and become as self-sufficient as possible. Visits typically decrease as the patient’s condition improves.

    Hospice care keeps patients comfortable as symptoms of their terminal illness worsen. Services typically increase over time to meet the needs of the patient.

  • Who can I contact if I have other questions about the application process?

    If you have difficulties or questions about applying online, please contact the care center to which you applied or the recruiter who has been working directly with you.

  • How is hospice care different from palliative care?

    Hospice and palliative care both focus on quality of life and relief of uncomfortable symptoms. The difference is that palliative care may begin earlier (e.g., at diagnosis) and take place at the same time as curative treatment. Hospice care begins after curative treatment stops, to improve comfort and quality of life as the patient nears the end of their life. Hospice care provides all the services palliative care does, but palliative care does not typically include all the services that hospice care provides.

  • Will Amedisys create a care plan just for me or my loved one?

    Yes. An Amedisys clinician will come to your home to assess your needs. You will be included in the care planning process. We will communicate with your doctor to discuss the assessment and your goals and work together to develop your personal plan of care. Amedisys Home Health Care staff will implement your physician-ordered plan of care and keep your doctor updated about your progress. If your condition or needs change, we’ll collaborate with your doctor to review your plan of care and make any needed adjustments.

  • What is Palliative Care?

    Palliative care is person-centered, family-focused care that provides relief from the symptoms, side effects and stress of a serious illness. The primary goal is to improve the patient’s and family’s quality of life.

  • What is home health care?

    Home health care provides skilled services for an illness or injury, wherever you call home. Our goal is to help you recover, regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. More than just providing excellent care in your home, home health care also savesbillions of dollars each year in providing these services outside of expensive facilities. Amedisys Home Health Care offers health care services such as skilled nursing, home health aides, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, and nutrition services. We also offer specialized clinical programs that focus on empowering you to manage your own illness and improving your quality of life.

  • Who Can Receive Palliative Care?

    People facing a serious disease may receive palliative care after obtaining a physician’s referral and order. Heart disease, cancer, respiratory illness, Alzheimer’s/dementia, renal disease, chronic liver disease and diabetes are some commonly treated conditions. According to the World Health Organization, pain and difficulty breathing are the two most frequent and serious symptoms that palliative care addresses.

  • How will you help protect me and my family from infectious disease?

    Our staff is well-equipped to care for you in your home. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, we’re taking additional measures to help prevent the spread of disease, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes requiring all staff to wear a face mask when reporting to work and providing appropriate protective equipment to all staff and patients. Our teams are required to perform a self-screening for symptoms every day, and we also call our patients to screen for symptoms before we visit. Our goal is to help you stay home and out of the hospital, where there is a higher risk of exposure.

  • Who Provides Palliative Care?

    Nurse practitioners provide an initial consultation and follow-up visits to address the patient’s pain and symptoms. The nurse practitioner works in collaboration with our social workers and medical director, as well as your healthcare providers. Learn more about the palliative team.

  • Who is eligible for home health care?

    In order to qualify for home health care, you must be considered “homebound.” During the current public health emergency, you may qualify if your physician advises you not to leave the home because of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis, or if you’re at high risk of infection due to age (65+) or an underlying condition. You must be referred by a physician or non-physician practitioner, like a nurse practitioner or physician assistant and have an intermittent need for skilled nursing or therapy, like physical, occupational or speech therapy.

  • Where Is Palliative Care Provided?

    Palliative care is available wherever you call home. For some, this is a private residence. Others may receive palliative care in a nursing home, hospital or other facility.

  • What can I expect on my first visit?

    On the first visit, a nurse or therapist will conduct an initial assessment. This assessment identifies areas where you and your family/caregivers may benefit from education in self-care and disease prevention. We also provide hands-on care.

  • What Does Palliative Care Involve?

    Palliative care involves establishing individualized goals of care, including pain and symptom management and social support that can help you feel more comfortable and better able to enjoy life on your own terms. Learn more about our services.

  • Do you offer home health in my area?

    Amedisys is the nation’s second largest provider of home health. Click here to search for the location nearest you and speak to a professional.

  • What Does Palliative Care Focus On?

    A serious diagnosis can involve painful and upsetting physical symptoms as well as emotional distress. Palliative care focuses on helping you manage these challenges, so that you and your family can experience more peace of mind and better quality of life. Some of the symptoms we can help with include pain, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, fatigue and insomnia.

  • What is home health care?

    Home health care provides skilled health care services wherever you call home. Our home health team works collaboratively with you, your family and your doctor to help you recover from illness, surgery or injury, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.

    You’ll receive the services you need based on an individual plan of care developed by your doctor with our clinical team. Some of the home health care services we offer include:

    • Skilled nursing care
    • Home health aides
    • Physical therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Speech therapy
    • Medical social work
    • Pain management
    • Medication management
    • Wound care
    • Infusion therapy
    • Psychiatric services

    We also offer several specialized home health programs for patients with COPD, heart failure and conditions that increase their risk of falling.

  • What Can I Expect from a Palliative Care Program?

    • The Initial Assessment – A palliative nurse practitioner will conduct a pain and symptom assessment, check vital signs, discuss care needs and create a plan of care.
    • Follow-Up Visits – In subsequent visits, the nurse practitioner will help monitor and manage pain and other symptoms, and work with a social worker to help with planning and emotional support. Your follow-up visits may last between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours, depending on your needs. Typically, you will receive 1-2 visits per month and on an as-needed basis.
    • Coordination of Care – The palliative team will collaborate with your other healthcare providers to help ensure you receive coordinated care and safe, seamless transitions of care as needed.


  • Who is eligible for home health care?

    You may be eligible to receive home health care under the Medicare benefit if:

    • Your doctor prescribes home health care for you.
    • You need either skilled nursing care or therapy (physical/occupational/speech therapy) on an intermittent basis.
    • Your condition limits your ability to leave home, rendering you “homebound.”

  • What Are the Principles of Palliative Care?

    We abide by the core principles of palliative care as designated by the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. Palliative care:

    • Is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness and may be delivered with curative treatments. 
    • May be provided over time based on patient/family needs, not prognosis. 
    • Is offered in all care settings and anywhere a patient calls home. 
    • Is focused on what is most important to the patient, family, and caregiver(s), honoring their goals and preferences for care. 
    • Is delivered by an interdisciplinary team to attend to holistic care needs of the patient and their identified family and caregivers.

  • What are the benefits of Amedisys home health care?

    Amedisys home health care can help in several ways:

    • Keeps patients comfortable at home, where they typically recover faster with fewer complications
    • Reduces avoidable trips to the hospital
    • Supports caregivers and loved ones
    • Uses evidence-based clinical practices so you receive high-quality care backed by science
    • Offers an interdisciplinary approach that gives you access to a diverse team of healthcare professionals
    • Provides personalized care planning tailored to your needs

    Continue learning about the benefits of home health care.

  • What Is the Goal of Pain Management?

    Our team is trained to administer pain-relieving medications for debilitating pain from cancer and other illnesses, in coordination with your doctor. The goal is to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

  • Who would benefit from home health care?

    You or a loved one may benefit from home health care if you:

    • Have a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or COPD
    • Are recovering from surgery, hospitalization or illness
    • Need help to get out of the house
    • Frequently visit your doctor or the hospital
    • Need education to manage your condition effectively
    • Are at risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 (age 65+ or any age with an underlying condition)

    Read more signs you or a loved one might need home health care.

    Take our home health assessment quiz to find out if home health may be right for you.

  • What Equipment Is Needed for Palliative Care at Home?

    During the initial consult, the nurse practitioner will be able to assess whether you need a wheelchair, hospital bed, oxygen equipment such as a ventilator, or other types of equipment.

  • What can I expect on the first home health care visit?

    On the first visit, a nurse or therapist will conduct a thorough interview and professional assessment. Our assessment identifies areas where you may benefit from education and tools to manage your health.

    We partner with your doctor as well as family and caregivers to determine the best services for your needs. This team approach actively engages you and your caregivers in your health care and, if applicable, helps to make the transition from a hospital or nursing facility to your home much easier.

  • Will the Palliative Team Take Over My Care?

    No. Your primary care provider will continue to manage your care. The palliative team will work closely with your healthcare providers to ensure your pain and symptoms are well-managed and advocate for your needs.

  • How often will my home health care visits be?

    The frequency and type of home health visits are based on your personal plan of care. Your doctor may change your plan of care as necessary, increasing or decreasing the number of visits or services provided, in order to provide you with the best home health care for your needs.

  • Can I Receive Other In-Home Care Services at the Same Time?

    Yes. You can receive palliative care if you are also receiving home health, personal care or other services in the home. Patients often receive these services at the same time, and our team can provide referrals to these types of care.

  • My doctor is ordering home health care for me; can I request Amedisys by name?

    Absolutely, and we’d be honored to care for you or your loved one. Federal law gives patients the freedom to choose their health care provider. 

  • What If I Decline Services and Later Change My Mind?

    You can stay on our services as long as you need them. If you decline services, you can reconsider them at a later time. As long as palliative care remains medically necessary, you can re-initiate services at any time with a doctor’s order.

  • Does Amedisys have a home health care center near me?

    Amedisys is one of the nation’s largest home health care providers, with over 300 care centers nationwide. To search for the Amedisys home health agency near you, visit our care center directory.

  • What Does It Mean to Be in Palliative Care?

    Families often wonder what it means for their loved one to be in palliative care. They worry that it could mean their loved one cannot be cured, for example. That is not necessarily the case. Palliative care provides relief from the pain, stress and symptoms of many serious illnesses, some of which are curable.

  • When will my home health visits start?

    A nurse or therapist will contact you by phone to schedule the first visit. If you’re coming from a hospital or nursing facility, the initial visit will usually happen within 24 hours after you’re discharged to make the transition easier.

  • Is Palliative Care the Same as Hospice?

    Palliative care and hospice are two different types of care. While hospice is for patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less, palliative care can start at any stage of a serious illness—when a person is diagnosed, when they are receiving treatment to cure their illness, or when they are nearing the end of their life. Learn more about the differences.

  • Who pays for home health care services?

    Medicare pays 100% of the cost of home health care services for eligible patients. Your state’s Medicaid program or your private insurance may also cover home health care.

    Learn more about the cost of home health care and who pays for home health care.

  • What Is Palliative Care vs. Comfort Care?

    Since both palliative care and comfort care help you feel as comfortable as possible, they include many of the same services. The main distinction is that you can receive palliative care at the same time as other curative measures, whereas comfort care is typically only for when you have exhausted these treatments.

  • Is Amedisys a Medicare-certified home health agency?

    Yes. Our home health care centers are Medicare-certified. This is a requirement for Medicare to cover the cost of home health services.

  • If I’m Receiving Treatment to Cure my Illness, Is Palliative Care Still an Option?

    Yes. You can receive palliative care at the same time you are trying to cure your illness. With the support of palliative care, your symptoms can be better managed, allowing you to do what is most important to you.

  • What qualifies as a “home” when home health care is being considered?

    Your residence is wherever you call home. This may be your house, an apartment, a relative’s home, a senior community, or some other type of residence. However, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities may not be considered a “home,” which would mean we cannot provide home health services in those settings.

  • How long will I receive home health care?

    Your doctor will determine the number of visits you receive, how often the visits should occur and how long they should last, based on your needs and health status.

  • How does Amedisys choose and train its home health care staff?

    We thoroughly screen and train our home health team members. Patient care staff have professional licenses and certifications that are applicable to their role. We also perform background checks and require several personal and professional references. Once hired, Amedisys employees continue honing their skills through an extensive orientation process and ongoing training programs.

  • What does “homebound” mean?

    Homebound means your condition is such that:

    • You’re normally unable to safely leave your home without help from others and the aid of assistive devices (such as crutches, canes, walkers or wheelchairs).
    • Leaving home would require considerable and taxing effort. You can generally leave home as often as you need for medical treatment that cannot be provided in the home and still be considered homebound. You’re also allowed brief absences from the home for some non-medical reasons, such as an occasional trip to the barber or beauty shop, to attend church, or for unique family events (like a graduation or wedding). Such trips must be infrequent and require a considerable and taxing effort.
    • You’re at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (age 65+ or any age with an underlying condition)

  • What’s the difference between home health care, hospice care and personal care?

    Home health care provides skilled clinical treatment for an illness or injury, with the goal of helping you recover and regain your independence. Home health care can also help you manage a chronic condition like heart disease, COPD or diabetes. Additionally, home health care can sometimes include certain personal care services, like help bathing and dressing, as part of the plan of care ordered by your doctor.

    Personal home care services include help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation or your normal activities of daily living in order to remain independent within your home. Learn more about the difference between home health and home care.

    Hospice care provides compassionate, supportive care and comfort for those who are facing a terminal illness. It offers medical, social, psychological, bereavement and spiritual services that support a patient and their loved ones.

  • Is hospitalization a requirement to receive home health care?

    No. Hospitalization is not a requirement to receive home health care. Many patients are referred by their doctor.

  • What is hospice?

    Hospice is a type of specialized care for people who have terminal illness that is no longer responding to medical treatment or intervention. Rather than trying to cure the disease, we focus on pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, and help for families and caregivers.

  • How does hospice care work?

    In most cases, a family member serves as the patient’s primary caregiver and helps make decisions for their loved one. The hospice care team, working together with the caregiver, develops a plan to provide treatment, pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, personal care and specialized services for both the patient and family. Hospice staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help meet your needs.

  • How do I know when it’s time to consider hospice?

    Patients should consider hospice when medical treatments can no longer cure their disease or when the burden of treating symptoms outweighs the benefits of treatment. Although end-of-life care can be difficult to discuss, talking about hospice early on allows you to make educated decisions and understand a loved one’s wishes before a crisis occurs. If you're unsure whether hospice care is the right choice for you or a loved one, our “Is Hospice the Answer” quiz may help. You can also call your local Amedisys care center for a free assessment to see if it’s time to consider hospice care.

  • Do Medicare and insurance cover hospice care?

    Yes. Hospice services are 100% covered by Medicare Part A. They are also covered by Medicaid in most states, as well as many other private or managed care insurances

  • What are the benefits of Amedisys Hospice care?

    Some of the benefits of Amedisys hospice care include:

    • Specially trained team of caring hospice professionals
    • Care provided wherever the patient calls home
    • 100% of hospice costs covered by Medicare
    • 24/7 accessibility if needed
    • Focus on comfort and quality of life
    • Assistance with daily tasks and personal care
    • Emotional and spiritual support
    • Paid medications, equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness
    • Bereavement support and respite care for family members
    • Research shows patients on hospice can live longer than patients who do not receive hospice care

  • Who will come visit us?

    You’ll receive intermittent visits from a team of people with expertise in different fields. Your hospice team may include a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, bereavement counselor, hospice aide and volunteers.

  • How often will the hospice team visit?

    The hospice care team works with patients and caregivers to determine the frequency and type of hospice services needed. The number of in-home hospice service visits typically increases as the patient’s illness progresses and their needs increase.

  • Is hospice available 24/7?

    Yes. At Amedisys, hospice care is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, all year long. We have hospice team members on call and can respond within minutes, if needed.

  • Can I keep my doctor if I choose hospice care?

    Yes. You can keep your personal physician while receiving hospice care. Hospice reinforces the relationship between primary care physician and patient, and considers this bond to be a high priority.

  • What if my doctor doesn’t know about hospice?

    Many, but not all, doctors are familiar with hospice. If your doctor doesn’t know about hospice care, contact us. We can share information about hospice services and hospice eligibility requirements and help you decide on next steps. Information is also available from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospice Center.

  • How can I arrange to receive hospice services?

    Anyone can make a referral for hospice care. Feel free to speak with your doctor, minister or a trusted friend when making this decision. You can also contact us to learn more about in-home hospice services and arrange a meeting in your home to discuss our hospice program. We also provide care in local hospitals and some extended stay facilities.

  • What’s the hospice admission process like?

    Once you’ve expressed an interest in learning more about hospice care, one of our team members will contact you to discuss your needs and help determine your eligibility. Next, we’ll contact your doctor to discuss your decision and receive authorization to begin providing the in-home hospice services you’ve chosen. Finally, you’ll sign forms that are similar to the ones that you would sign before receiving any other special medical services.

  • When does hospice care begin?

    Once a referral for hospice care is made, we will contact you within a few hours to schedule the first visit at a time that’s convenient for you. A hospice care team member typically visits the patient within 24 hours. In some situations, it may be possible for hospice services to start sooner.

  • How long can a patient receive hospice care?

    It depends on the patient’s specific needs, but Medicare covers six months of hospice care initially. Care can last longer than six months if a doctor certifies that the patient continues to meet hospice eligibility requirements.

  • What happens if the patient’s condition improves?

    Sometimes with the extra attention that hospice care provides, a patient’s health improves. If a patient’s condition improves or the disease goes into remission, the patient can be discharged from hospice care and returned to regular medical treatment. Likewise, should the patient need to return to hospice in the future, these services can be resumed if the patient is eligible.

  • Is there any special equipment I need or changes I have to make in my home before hospice care begins?

    No. Your hospice care team will help you determine what you need and then assist you in obtaining any special equipment or making any changes in your home.

  • How many family members or friends does it take to care for a patient at home?

    There’s no set number. One of the first things hospice will do is help you determine the amount of care you need. In addition, hospice staff will make regular visits to your home. We’re available to answer questions, provide support and teach caregivers how to care for their loved one.

  • How difficult is caring for a dying loved one at home?

    It’s never easy to provide end-of-life care for a loved one. Nights can be especially difficult and sometimes seem very long. However, the hospice care team is available 24 hours a day to speak with or visit you if needed. We can teach you what you need to know to care for your loved one. We also provide resources and bereavement support for caregivers and family members.

  • Does someone need to be with the patient at all times?

    No. It is usually not necessary for someone to be with the patient all the time. However, we do recommend continual end-of-life care and monitoring in the later stages of hospice.

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