Facts about Skirball Hospice
1. Areas Served (alphabetical by community)
Skirball Hospice currently serves Agoura, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Culver City, Encino, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Ocean Park, Pacific Palisades, Pacoima, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sylmar, Tarzana, Van Nuys, Venice, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.
2. When to Consider Hospice Care
Hospice care is palliative, not curative, in its goals and treatments. Referrals are made when medical intervention has reached its maximum benefit and a patient or his representative decides to refocus on maintaining comfort and symptom management at home rather than in the hospital. Hospice care does not seek to prolong life beyond its natural course, nor does it hasten death in any way. Prognosis is reviewed every two or three months, and care may be discontinued if a condition has stabilized or a patient decides to pursue more treatment.
3. Care Specifics
Routine home care provides supportive visits to the patient and primary caregiver, including supplies, equipment, bathing, medications, and instruction, and the emotional and spiritual support to maintain home care through an illness. Visits are scheduled throughout the week, with attention to each patient's circumstances and assistance to access resources such as additional attendant care. Private duty shifts are not covered by hospice, but may be partially covered by insurance, or In-Home Supportive Services for those receiving Medi-Cal.
4. Continuous and Respite Care
Continuous Care is a short-term provision for eight hours or more of daily home care, due to a symptom requiring this level of intervention. Respite Care in a facility is approved when deemed necessary, up to five days, with the goal of stabilizing the patient and family so the patient can return home. Both Continuous and Respite care must be approved by the hospice and are designed for short term periods, in response to a need that has developed. If a patient chooses to transition to a care facility, hospice care can continue at the new residence.
5. How Hospice Differs from Health Care
Hospice treats the person rather than the disease, emphasizing quality of life, rather than length of life. Hospice also enlarges the focus of care to include the patient, family, and caregivers. Hospice offers help and support to the patient and family on a 24-hour day, 7 days a week basis.
6. Costs Involved
Typically there are no out-of-pocket expenses associated with Skirball Hospice care. Medicare and Medi-Cal provide full coverage for hospice, including medications, supplies, and equipment related to the diagnosis. These must be approved and ordered through Skirball Hospice. Skirball Hospice becomes the single source of care. Primary physician services are also covered while a patient receives hospice care. Medications and treatment for conditions other than the hospice diagnosis are not covered by hospice. Medicare and Medi-Cal cover these separately, according to their guidelines. Most private health plans have provisions for hospice care. Skirball Hospice can assist with insurance inquiries.
7. Admissions Procedure
A visit is scheduled at home or in hospital to discuss the patient's needs and answer questions about hospice care. Completion of our Admission Form initiates the patient's choice to receive hospice care, which may be revoked at any time with a revocation form. A visit from a Registered Nurse Case Manager assesses care needs in consultation with your physician, and arranges for delivery of your medications and supplies.
Patients are assigned a 24-hour phone number to call if a problem develops. After hours, your call is answered by a Registered Nurse who can forward your concern to other team members as needed. Over the next days, hospice team members begin pre-scheduled visits to familiarize themselves with the patient and establish a care program. Thereafter, the team coordinates to identify and anticipate needs. Generally, patients are visited most weekdays by a team member.
8. Involvement of Personal Physician
Skirball Hospice will coordinate care with whomever the patient designates as his primary physician. The primary physician is considered a member of the hospice team and involved with decisions concerning patient care.
We recommend that you discuss your needs with your physician and, if appropriate, request a referral by calling 877.774.3040, or fax to 818.774.3089.
To find answers to any questions you may have about Skirball Hospice, please contact us toll-free at 877.774.3040 or by e-mail at SkirballHospice@jha.org.
Skirball Hospice is funded in part by the Skirball Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Archstone Foundation. Skirball Hospice is Medicare/MediCal Certified, License #980001583.