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Hospice: The Right Care at the Right Time

Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C., sponsored a Health Care Professionals Seminar entitled, Hospice: The Right Care at the Right Time. The guest speaker was John Diaz-Chermack, the Assistant Administrator of Hospice of New York.

John explained that the purpose of hospice care is to bring help, hope, comfort, and dignity to terminally ill patients and their families. Everyone enjoyed listening to John’s heart- warming anecdotes about his hospice patients.

We learned that in addition to cancer, there are many other qualifying diagnoses such as end stage heart, liver, and renal disease, pulmonary disease, stroke, coma, Alzheimer’s/dementia, end stage HIV/AIDS, and neurological disorders (MS, ALS, and Parkinson’s.) We also learned about the many services provided by hospice care which focus on the quality of life for the patients and their families. The care and support provided by hospice care ranges from a hospice team/medical care (pain management, physical and occupational therapy) to music therapy to spiritual and bereavement counseling.

These hospice services are covered by Medicare Part A, Medicaid, and most major health insurance companies, including HMOs. With most health insurance plans, there are no copayments, exclusions, or deductibles. Also, since the patient’s treating doctor is a critical component of the hospice team, the patient can continue with his/her treating doctor even if the doctor is not part of the hospice program.

Whether the patient is receiving hospice services at home or in a facility, the hospice team will design and implement a “plan of care” that supports the patient’s right to live as fully as possible and the right to die with dignity.

For more information about Hospice of New York, please visit:

By Marie Elena Puma, Esq.- Guest Blogger


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