St Joseph Hospice Frequently Asked Questions

Our mission is deeply rooted in our core values, established in 1930 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange: Dignity, Service, Excellence and Justice. We are committed to bringing these values to every aspect of care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses. We embrace a family-centered approach for the physical, emotional and spiritual care of patients.

What is hospice?

Hospice provides comfort and support to patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. The goal of hospice care is quality of life and meeting the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of patients. We focus on comfort.

Who can receive hospice care?

Hospice care is provided to anyone who has a medical condition with a prognosis of six months or less if the disease or condition runs its normal course. Hospice is for patients who have chosen to focus on comfort care.

Who pays for hospice care?

Medicare, Medi Cal and most commercial insurance plans pay for hospice services.

Where does hospice care take place?

Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home but can be provided in any setting including skilled nursing homes, residential care facilities and the hospital.

When should a decision be made to enter hospice and who makes it?

At any time during a life-threatening illness when a cure is no longer possible or the patient makes a decision to discontinue curative care and focus on comfort. The decision to enter hospice care is made with the patient, family and their physician preferably as soon as it is clear that the focus is no longer on curing the illness. This allows for sufficient time for the hospice team to establish a relationship and manage the patient's symptoms.

What services does hospice care cover?

Home visits by the interdisciplinary team consisting of the nurse, social worker, chaplain, certified home health aide and volunteer. A dietitian, physical therapist and occupational therapist can also be consulted. Medications related to the terminal illness are covered as well as medical supplies and medical equipment. St. Joseph Hospice through our Foundation provides Music and Massage on a limited basis. Not all hospices provide these services as they are not mandated by Medicare. Grief support services are provided to families for 13 months following the death.

What about my primary care physician?

Hospice works closely with the patient's primary care physician to create a plan of care that meets the patient’s unique needs. Patients can continue to see their primary care physician in the office setting as needed.

What if I change my mind about hospice care?

Patients can change their mind at any time and revoke the hospice benefit. Patients may return to the hospital and pursue treatment if they desire.

Is St. Joseph Hospice a Catholic Hospice?

St. Joseph Hospice serves all religions and denominational preferences. Our chaplains are educated in all faiths and religious practices. In addition, we are able to meet the specific needs of the Catholic community.

How does a person get admitted to hospice?

Call St. Joseph Hospice at 714-712-9559 and our Admissions Department will be able to arrange for a physician order. Our staff will make an appointment to visit the patient, complete an assessment, sign consents and develop a plan of care.

If I have questions, who do I call?

St. Joseph Hospice staff are available 24 hours a day at 714-712-9559.