The Most Common Misconceptions of Hospice Care

April 30, 2019
Learn more about hospice care.
By Alyse Wagner - American House

Just like many others, you might find yourself asking the question, what is hospice?

Although hospice focuses on the comfort and quality of life during a terminal illness, there are misconceptions surrounding the care hospice is able to provide. It is undoubtedly difficult to accept a loved one is at the end of his/her life, and it’s natural to fear the loss. 

At American House, we strive to not only make your loved one comfortable, but to be a resource for you and your family. Hospice organizations provide support for families in coping with an impending loss, while providing a loved one with customized care, while keeping him/her in a familiar, comfortable environment.

Our communities partner with various hospice companies and agencies to coordinate care for a terminally ill resident. The goal is to avoid a disruptive move or unnecessary invasive treatments.  

Did you know? 

90% of Americans do not know that Medicare pays for hospice
80% of Americans do not think of hospice as a choice for end-of-life care
75% of seniors do not know that hospice care can be provided at home 
25% of Americans say they are not likely to talk about impending death with terminally ill patients
25% of seniors have put in writing how they want to be cared for at the end of life
15% of Americans say they have not made their end of life preferences known
10% of seniors know that hospice provides pain relief for the terminally ill

Information provided by: A Place for Mom

Hospice Care V. Palliative Care

You might be unaware of the differences between hospice and palliative care. Palliative care can begin at the time of diagnosis and hospice care typically begins after treatment. See below for a comparison of hospice and palliative care.


Hospice Care


Palliative Care





  • One must be certified as terminally ill.
  • One must not have made a hospice election.
  • One must have not previously received the pre-election hospice services.
  • One must request palliative care referral from physician.



  • Provided at any place one calls home.
  • Provided at care facilities that are associated with palliative care.



  • Medicare hospice benefit
  • State Medicaid
  • Private insurance 
  • Medicare Part B
  • State Medicaid
  • Private insurance 




  • Typically for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less.
  • Goal is to manage pain and improve quality and comfort of remaining life.
  • For people who are at any stage in their illness (illness does not have to be life threatening.) 
  • Can be used alongside curative and life-prolonging measures.


For more information, contact your local American House community.


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