doctor-and-chartWhat Are We About?

COCHPC.org strongly believes in the value of hospice care as the highest-quality care for patients and family caregivers struggling with serious and life-limiting illness.

It is the mission of the COCHPC to work to increase access to palliative and hospice services and promote quality standards of care for all. Within this mission it is our vision that all will live well at the end of life or in serious illness, and that none will suffer needlessly.

COCHPC is committed to serving the entire hospice and palliative care community. Among our membership are programs large and small, urban and rural, nonprofit and for-profit, government owned and faith-based, single site and multi-site, the variations go on, and this diversity enriches our organization and the field. Despite these differences our commitment to caring and excellence is the same.

Our mission is that we will connect people in need with palliative and hospice care information and resources. For our members, we will provide advocacy, education, and best practice models of care.

When anyone dies, their community feels that loss. When so many are affected through loss or injury as has happened multiple times throughout the country over the last few years, the impact ripples and the effect is magnified. Today, more than ever, it is important for people to support one another and remember that everyone experiences tragedies and grief differently. Some will turn inward, others will cry out in pain, while still others will suffer silently, hoping for a kind word or gesture. Those in need should never be afraid to ask for help—from friends, family, coworkers, physicians or pastoral counselors.

The need for bereavement services will continue long after this tragic event, donations to support this work can be made through the National Hospice Foundation Disaster Fund and will be designated to support these needs.

Your community hospice can also be a source of information on grief and bereavement. Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, offers information on grief as well. Caring Connections has made four articles available on its website (www.caringinfo.org) that offer some additional thoughts on dealing with grief caused by tragic events. No one needs to suffer alone in silence.

statisticsInteresting Statistics

Recent analysis of publicly available Colorado Hospice Statistics data for the industry in Colorado for Medicare beneficiaries show that 49% are utilizing hospice services as compared to 40% nationally.

Colorado fortunately is not in the top five states for medical malpractice lawsuits. However, an area that has come to light in recent years is the alarming rise in lawsuits for nursing home abuse, neglect and nursing home medical malpractice cases. We have heard stories from a disturbing number of our members who have been victims and are or have been involved in nursing home abuse lawsuits and medical malpractice lawsuits and so forth, of course, our hearts go out to them. A number of them have reported receiving financial assistance called legal loans during their litigation and since all have spoken favorably about them, we wanted to include them as a resource.

In 2015 there were a total of 23,181 Medicare beneficiary patient deaths; of those deaths, 11,409 were Medicare hospice deaths.

Hospice Care Overview

  • Hospice services provide care when cure is not possible.
  • Hospice care is focused on the whole person so that emotional, social, and spiritual needs are addressed along with physical.
  • Family members also receive care and support.
  • Hospice care is skilled, aggressive, and compassionate with the goals of comfort, freedom from pain, and giving the person as much independence and control for as long as possible.
  • Most hospice care is delivered to the person in his or her home, wherever that may be. Care is provided by a team of professionals, each addressing a different aspect of the person’s needs. Volunteers are also available for extra help and to give family members a break.
  • Inpatient options are available in assisted living, nursing, hospital, and dedicated hospice facilities. The most common complaint about hospice is that patients did not enroll soon enough for them and their families to benefit from the full spectrum of care.
  • Hospice services are fully covered under Medicare Part A; Medicaid and many private insurance plans offer a hospice benefit.
  • Hospice admission under the Medicare Benefit requires that the person’s physician and the hospice medical director determine that the person is unlikely to live longer than 6 months if his or her illness is allowed to run its natural course. Admission under the benefit also requires that the person forego any treatments intended for cure of the illness.
  • However, admission policies are more liberal now than in the past and definitions of what treatments are intended for cure vs. comfort may vary somewhat from hospice to hospice.
  • Hospice care does not require that you give up regular maintenance medications or medications that improve comfort and quality of life.
  • Hospice is not a one-way street — admitted patients can “check out” or “revoke” at any time; nationally in 2006 about 17% of hospice patients were discharged either because they got better or resumed curative treatment.
  • About 45% of Colorado residents who die each year receive hospice care. There are currently 50 hospice agencies in the state; almost all counties are served by at least one agency.

Hospice Care FAQ | Palliative Care FAQ | Advance Care Planning