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Frequently asked questions

At Staten Island University Hospital, we want to make sure you have all the information you need. Our friendly team is eager to help you navigate the hospice process, and your questions are always welcome. Here are a few answers to some of the most common questions.

How do I become a volunteer?

Visit the volunteer section of our website for more information.

How do I ask for a speaker?

Hospice is a philosophy and a multidisciplinary approach to caring for terminally ill patients and their families. In response to community requests for information about hospice care and topics related to loss and bereavement, University Hospice has developed a series of presentations given by members of the Hospice Speaker's Bureau. The presentations are available for interested groups free of charge. To schedule a presentation, please complete and return the associated form. You will be contacted by phone to confirm arrangements.

How do I make a donation?

Hospice care is reimbursed at a per diem rate. Frequently, the actual cost of a patient's care far exceeds the per diem reimbursement. Funds donated to University Hospice are used to help our patients and families by providing for home health aide hours and helping to pay for expensive medications. We thank you for your contribution. It is only through the support of our community that hospice can provide care to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

How does University Hospice help the patient and the family at home?

Hospice services are designed to provide support to patients and their loved ones. The goal is to maximize the patient's quality of life while providing emotional and spiritual support. An individual plan of care is developed with the collaboration of team members:

  • Hospice physicians provide medical management and make home visits as needed.
  • Hospice nurses coordinate care by making home visits to monitor the patient and help caregivers learn key skills. Nurses also provide skilled care, comfort, and support.
  • Social workers help the family understand and cope with the related emotional and financial stress. They also offer counseling.
  • Pastoral care staff are on hand to offer spiritual support for patients and their families.
  • Volunteers provide a variety of care: companionship, support, light housekeeping tasks, and errands. Taking care of simple tasks as a volunteer often eases some of the strain on the family.
  • Bereavement services include short-term counseling, support groups for adults and children, a lending library, grief classes, and memorial services.
  • RN On-Call Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to deal with crisis situations, answer questions and visit when necessary.
  • Home health aides provide personal care for the patient.
  • Prescribed medications are available for pain and symptom management.
  • Medical equipment and supplies are available as needed, including oxygen therapy equipment.
  • Hospice inpatient care is offered for short-term symptom management.
  • Respite care helps by offering temporary relief to caregivers.
  • Music therapy and pet therapy are offered for patients.

Who qualifies as a hospice patient?

Patients who qualify for hospice have been given a medical prognosis of six months or less, as certified by their physician. Hospice patients are no longer receiving curative or experimental treatment. While it is not a treatment that seeks to combat the underlying illness, palliative care can ease the discomfort of a patient whose symptoms affect their quality of life. These patients include, but are not limited to, those with cancer; AIDS; end-stage lung disease; and hepatic, renal, cardiac, or neurological diseases.

Who pays for hospice?

Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers. Payment plans or charity care can be established for the uninsured who qualify based on income. Admission to University Hospice is based on the patient's needs rather than the ability to pay.

When should the hospice be contacted, and how are services initiated?

Hospice care is an appropriate and compassionate treatment choice when someone you love is terminally ill. Hospice offers the patients the choice to complete their lives with dignity, purpose and peace. Our admission criteria is as follows:

  • The patient has an end-stage illness as certified by their physician.
  • The patient and family make a choice for palliative (comfort) care rather than curative treatment.
  • During the hospice process, the patient has their own primary caregiver.

Referrals to University Hospice may be initiated by anyone, including the patient and family, by calling University Hospice at (718) 226-6450. The intake nurse coordinator will consult with the physician, the patient and the family to assess whether hospice is appropriate at this time.

Want to find out more about hospice care?

Please contact us:
University Hospice
78 Meisner Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
Phone: (718) 226-6450

Staff members of University Hospice are available to make presentations to your group. Topics include hospice services, admission criteria and related subjects. To schedule a presentation, contact hospice at (718) 226-6450.