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  • Jimmy Carter Elected Hospice Care and Dispelled a Common Myth

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  • Hospice

Four months ago, it was announced that former President Jimmy Carter had entered hospice care. While Hosparus Health was not directly involved in his care, our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bethany Snider, applauds President Carter and his family for understanding the value hospice brings and using hospice services for the duration of the benefit. Earlier enrollment allows patients and families to take full advantage of the wide array of hospice services available, including support from a team of doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains, and respite volunteers.

“I really hope more people will follow President Carter’s lead and sign up for care much earlier. Although the hospice benefit is covered by insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare for six months of services with normal disease progression, far too often, we see people waiting until the final few days to reach out for support,” said Dr. Snider. “The true beauty of our mission-driven work is when we are able to help manage symptoms and medications, while also addressing the psychosocial and spiritual needs of the patients and families we support. According to several studies, patients receiving the full hospice benefit report experiencing a better quality of life during the end-of-life stage and would recommend these services to others. Hospice care provides hope by offering patients freedom from the fears of isolation, abandonment, loneliness, loss of control, and physical pain; and hope that their family will be nurtured and supported.”

For the last 45 years, Hosparus Health, a fully accredited hospice and palliative care organization, has provided comfort care for people facing serious illnesses across Kentucky and Indiana. With the support of 600 employees and 500 volunteers, the nonprofit organization serves over 10,000 patients and families every year, regardless of their ability to pay.

“We are here to help our patients create more moments. Whether it is finally getting their college degree, marrying the love of their life, or reconciling a broken relationship, our support provides the time and space to enhance the quality of life for those we serve,” said Dr. Snider. “It doesn’t matter if they are at home, in a facility, a hospital, or our inpatient unit, we provide comfort-focused care to patients and families, wherever they are located.”

Dr. Snider works tirelessly to combat the many myths associated with hospice care. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about hospice.

Myths and Facts About Hospice Care

Myth: Hospice is only for cancer patients.
Truth: Less than half of our patients have a diagnosis of cancer. Our end-of-life care includes patients with heart and lung disease, Alzheimer’s/dementia, stroke, and many other diagnoses.

Myth: Hospice means a patient must stop all prior medications.
Truth: We thoroughly review all patient medications to ensure they are still of benefit and are NOT harmful at this stage of life.

Myth: Hospice means giving up on life.
Truth: Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death. In fact, studies show that patients who get services live longer than those who do not use hospice care.

Myth: Hospice care is only accessible during the last two weeks of life.
Truth: Hospice services are available to all patients with a life expectancy of six months or less.

Myth: Hospice care means patients must give up their established routine care and current doctors.
Truth: Hospice encourages patients to stay involved with their other physicians. Hospice is ONLY responsible for care related to a patient’s terminal disease.

Myth: Hospice care is expensive.
Truth: Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance plans cover 100% of charges for hospice services.

Myth: Only a physician can refer a patient for hospice care.
Truth: Anyone – patients, loved ones, or others involved in providing care – can contact our organization to start the referral process. We will follow up with the patient’s physician directly to determine eligibility.


If you know someone with a serious illness, consider:

  1. Does their illness seem to be getting worse every time you see them?
  2. Have there been more frequent visits to the emergency room or hospitalizations recently?
  3. Has the person been losing weight?
  4. Has there been difficulty managing their pain and/or breathing problems?
  5. Do they need more help walking, eating, bathing, or going to the bathroom?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions, someone you love may be eligible for hospice care.

You do not have to wait, call Hosparus Health today at 800-264-0521, or visit to learn if you or your loved one would benefit from hospice services and support.

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