Hospice and Coronavirus FAQ

Your Safety is Our Top Priority

During these times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to understand the facts about COVID-19 and how they relate to hospice care. As this coronavirus pandemic evolves, our goal is to update these frequently asked questions with the latest information. Let us know if you have questions.

Is hospice care available during the coronavirus pandemic?

Compassus is accepting hospice referrals and continues to visit hospice patients. It’s during these times of change you may need us most. Our staff has special training and necessary personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of patients during this pandemic, even those testing positive for COVID-19. As always, our care team continues to serve patients in their personal homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or wherever they call home.

What steps are you taking to keep hospice patients and caregivers safe during this COVID-19 crisis?

Your health and safety are our highest priorities. We are taking extra safety precautions during every face-to-face visit.

  • Daily fever and symptom-free certification by all visiting staff
  • Implement droplet precautions when caring for patients with respiratory infection
  • Use of personal protective gloves with all patients
  • Additional hand hygiene before and after visiting facility/home

What about telehealth options during the coronavirus pandemic?

Virtual hospice care visits enable us to safely connect patients and their families with our doctors, nurses, chaplains, and social workers. If you are unfamiliar with the apps used in telehealth, we will walk you through each step in the process.

I’ve heard older adults are especially susceptible to COVID-19. How can you help?

The CDC states that those at higher-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People 65 and older
  • People of any age who have a serious underlying medical condition
  • People who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Hospice care has a long and successful history of caring for medically fragile older adults. Hospice nurses have extensive training to prevent infections, manage pain, improve quality of life and reduce unwanted trips to the emergency room.

Is hospice care available in nursing homes closed to family members? 

Compassus works with individual nursing facilities to safely enter and care for patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published guidelines advising nursing homes that hospice workers may be allowed entry if the hospice staff follows CDC guidelines for transmission-based precautions and uses personal protective equipment properly. Allowing hospice staff in facilities adds an extra layer of support for patients and their families who often aren’t allowed to visit.

What if I’m providing hospice care in my home during the coronavirus pandemic?

The CDC advises home hospice patient to stay at home, except to get medical care. Hospice patient at home should be separate from other people and animals as much as possible. A separate room is ideal. Compassus’s hospice staff can help you with extra safety measures, such as when and how to wear a face covering. The CDC has published specific guidelines for caring for someone sick at home