- Comprehensive, compassionate care for people with a life-limiting illness and a prognosis of 6 months or less
- Expert symptom management and emotional/spiritual support tailored by the hospice team to meet the Veteran’s needs and wishes
- Support for Veteran’s family and friends, including assistance with resources and benefits, and bereavement support
What are the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) hospice policies?
- Hospice is part of every enrolled Veteran’s Uniform Medical Benefits Package
- VA must offer or provide needed hospice services for all enrolled Veterans meeting hospice criteria
- Veterans who are receiving hospice care do not give up any of their other VA benefits
Who provides hospice services?
- Many VA Medical Centers can provide inpatient hospice services
- Community hospices can provide hospice services in the Veteran’s own home or wherever he or she is living
Who pays for hospice services for Veterans?
- Department of Veterans Affairs under the VA hospice benefit for Veterans receiving care in a VA facility or from a contracted hospice agency
- Medicare and Medicaid (where available) under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit
- Private insurance companies
What services are covered by hospice agencies in the community?
- Home visits by members of an interdisciplinary team (doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain, aides, therapists)
- Medications, medical equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness
- On-call support 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Inpatient care for acute symptom control
- Continuous Care instead of inpatient care for patients with acute symptoms that can be managed at home
- Respite care to relieve the caregiver
- Grief and bereavement support
How can Veterans get hospice services paid for by VA?
- You must be enrolled in VA for healthcare benefits and approved for hospice care by a VA physician
- You must be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness with an estimated prognosis of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course
- You must seek care that is focused on comfort rather than cure
- You must want hospice care
- VA physician determines appropriateness and approves referral for hospice care
Enrolling in VA
- VA determines eligibility for VA benefits through the enrollment process. If you are not already enrolled in VA, you will need your discharge papers (DD-214). If you don’t have a DD-214, you can ask your Veterans Service Officer or VA Enrollment Officer for help or request your records online at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/index.html.
- Veterans must be enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration to receive VA healthcare benefits
For more information contact:
- Your VA Primary Care Provider
- Palliative Care Consult Team at your local VA facility
- We Honor Veterans (www.wehonorveterans.org)