Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when to call Iowa River Hospice?

Individuals who have a life-limiting illness and/or are choosing comfort care over aggressive treatment can obtain assistance.  It is never too soon to discuss all available options – including hospice care. End-of-life care decisions are difficult to discuss, and it is helpful to have conversations prior to a major concern.

Iowa River Hospice is available to respond to your needs.  Call 641-753-7704 to visit with our professional staff.

Who can make a referral?

Anyone can make a referral for hospice care, including patients themselves.  However, all admissions to the hospice program require a physician’s approval.  Medicare guidelines must be met for admission to a Medicare-certified hospice.

Does choosing Hospice mean I am giving up hope?

HOPE changes when someone has an incurable illness.  But there is always HOPE.  HOPE for a cure may change to HOPE for comfort.  It may also change to HOPE for memorable moments with those we love; HOPE for achieving reconciliation and closure; HOPE for respect and dignity or HOPE for a special someone or something.   Iowa River Hospice is committed to nurturing HOPE.

Is hospice only for cancer patients?

Hospice does care for cancer patients, but also those with any life-limiting illness as treatment changes from curative to comfort.  Some examples are heart or lung disease, kidney failure, ALS, dementia, stroke or a combination of illnesses with only comfort as an option for care.

How is the cost of hospice covered?

Hospice care is funded by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies.  Iowa River Hospice is paid a daily “per diem” rate to provide hospice services to our patients.  The daily rate is established by Medicare, Medicaid and/or the insurance company offering coverage.  This daily rate covers the services of:

  • The hospice interdisciplinary team services
  • Medication, supplies and equipment related to the hospice diagnosis
  • Inpatient acute care for management of pain or other symptom management
  • Respite care is rest for caregivers

We will care for you regardless of your ability to pay

Can I keep my own Healthcare Provider?

Yes, you can choose to keep your own healthcare provider to manage your care. You will also have the additional benefit of the hospice medical director and the interdisciplinary team working in partnership with your physician.  You may see your healthcare provider as often as you would like, and your primary hospice nurse can accompany you if you desire.

Can I make my own decisions about the amount and choice of cares received if I am in the hospice program?

Yes, Iowa River Hospice will explain your treatment and care options.   It is then your decision to determine what works best for you.   We know that no one understands what you’re going through better than you do.  We respect and honor our patients’ choices.

Can I leave my home for social activities if I am in the hospice program?

Yes, in fact we encourage you to go out as often as you feel able.  Living is encouraged!

Where can I receive hospice care?

Hospice care can be provided in your own home, a nursing facility, assisted living facility, the hospital, the Iowa Veterans Home or in the Hospice Home at 502 Plaza Heights Road.  Iowa River Hospice has contracts with all nursing and assisted living facilities in the areas we serve.   Professional and compassionate care is provided to all our patients, regardless of where the services are located.

Is support offered to caregivers?

Hospice provides care for the family as much as the patient.  The diagnosis of a terminal illness affects the entire family and all who are close to the patient.  The caregiver(s) are subject to physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs also.  An Iowa River Hospice social worker, chaplain and entire interdisciplinary team assist with helping to support and comfort the caregiver.  There is also a caregiver support group available, if desired.

Is bereavement or grief support offered by Iowa River Hospice?

Iowa River Hospice offers bereavement support to all whose loved ones have been cared for by our hospice or any member of our communities in need of this support.   Services include personal visits, phone contacts, cards, newsletters and support groups.  These services are free of charge.

Is there support for children?

Yes, Iowa River Hospice offers support for children who have suffered a loss.

Can I visit with someone about my sadness and loss?

Yes, please call the Iowa River Hospice office at 641-753-7704.   We have bereavement coordinators available to visit with you, offer support and provide guidance.