FAQs

Is hospice care only for cancer patients?
 No. Cancer is only one disease that can limit life. An individual with any type of disease, acute or chronic may be eligible for hospice services. We serve individuals with lung, heart, liver, kidney, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, stroke, and other diseases; many of which are considered chronic or have been debilitating over a long period of time.

What kind of services do you provide?
 HWC supports individuals and the family/friends support system with medical and emotional care to enable every moment of life to be fully lived. HWC also provides grief support and educational services to ensure that everyone in our community grieve in a healthy way.

Do I have to live in Washington County to receive care from HWC?
 Yes. In the State of Maryland we operate under a certificate of need. We are licensed by the state to provide end of life care to anyone residing within the county regardless on how long they have lived here.

Is hospice different from home health?
 Yes. Hospice services are designed for individuals with a life-limiting illness. They do not have to be homebound as they do with home health services, nor does there need to be a skilled condition. Our staff is experienced to handle the situations associated with life-limiting illnesses and issues. We provide a holistic approach through a team of compassionate professionals who achieve excellence by anticipating and providing responsive medical, emotional and spiritual support to the individual and family/friends support system.

Who can afford hospice care through HWC?
 Everyone. Because we are a non-profit organization that is in effect owned by, and here for, the community, our services are available to all regardless of ability to pay. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance cover most patient costs. It is a pleasure to care for our entire community.

Do I need a Physician Referral?
 Anyone can contact HWC. To actually begin receiving hospice services, a doctor’s authorization is required. Our grief and education services are available to all, with no prior hospice services or referral required.

How long can a patient receive hospice care?
 Hospice care is the best choice for a patient with a life-limiting illness. Prognosis is not an exact science; therefore an individual may receive hospice care for as long as necessary after a physician certifies the need for hospice care. He/she does that provided the disease takes its normal progression and based upon his/her clinical judgment. Often the individual and family/friends support system offer information that affirms the need for care. Hospice care is not limited to six months. Beyond six months, the extended coverage exists because experts agree that hospice care best serves individuals and the family/friends support system when the partnership between them and the team at HWC for several months. This time together enriches the end-of-life experience for the individual and family/friends support system, finding effective relief from pain or symptoms and offering special opportunities — to strengthen relationships, to put one’s affairs in order, to find spiritual peace, and to complete and celebrate life before, during, and after end-of-life situations.

When is the right time to contact HWC?
 Today! People often feel they need to wait until a health care professional has told them that it is time to contact to HWC, but our wide-range of support services and educational programs are available to individuals, family members and the community at all stages of life. We also encourage people to schedule an informational meeting with one of our referral/admission staff so that, when an end-of-life situation is approaching, plans can already be in place to ensure the greatest comfort possible.

Who Will Take Care of Me? 
No one wants to be alone through a difficult time, so at HWC we work closely with the individual and family/friends support system to develop an individualized plan of care that is right for them. This can only be accomplished by a team, along with the family/friends support system, and not by any one health care professional.