Frequently Asked Questions

What is hospice?
Hospice is a specialized program that offers help, comfort and support for people with serious illnesses and their families. Hospice is about living a full and meaningful life by helping patients and families with their medical, emotional and spiritual needs.

How do we get help from hospice?
Anyone can call Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, formerly known as Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, for information or to get help. A nurse will answer the call and then consult with the patient’s physician to approve the need for hospice care. We are also available to meet with you and your family to discuss your needs, answer questions and help you understand what to expect.

How do we know when it's time for hospice?
Hospice is for anyone living with any type of life-limiting illness for people of all ages from infants to the elderly who are not seeking aggressive, curative treatment. Hospice is help, support and assistance to patients and families. We realize that it is a difficult decision for many. However, hospice is not a final choice or decision. Patients are free to leave the program at any time.

What type of care is provided?
A team of specialists - physicians, registered nurses, hospice aides, social workers, volunteers, chaplains and grief counselors - coordinate an individual plan of care with the patient, the family and the patient's physician to meet the patient and family goals. Visits are made by these professionals to ensure the patient's needs are being met. Medications, supplies and equipment that promote comfort are also provided at no cost to the patient. Hospice staff is on duty 24-hours a day, seven days a week to provide care, respond to emergencies, answer questions and offer support.

Where can we receive hospice care?
Hospice care is provided in all settings, including the patient's home, hospitals, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, group homes and at our inpatient facility, the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center.

How is hospice paid for?
Hospice is a program that is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance programs. However, if a patient is unable to pay for care, Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island is still committed to provide all the services regardless of ability to pay.

Is it true that all treatment stops if a person is on hospice?
No. Patients on hospice may receive medications, treatments, IVs and can even be hospitalized depending on the patient's wishes and the hospice plan of care.

What other resources are available to learn about hospice and palliative care?
We recommend that you visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website at for additional information.