• is a philosophy of care that assists patients, family and friends during the final stages of a terminal illness.

  • affirms life and helps patients by encouraging them to participate in life as fully as possible.

  • promotes dignity and emphasizes quality of life for those who choose to remain at home in familiar surroundings with those they love.

  • neither hastens nor postpones death, but helps patients and families view this final journey as a natural process of life.

The Hospice of Washington County exists to provide support and care for a person during the last months of an incurable illness. Care for the terminally ill involves treatment that enhances comfort and improves the quality of the person's life. The focus of Hospice care concentrates on care, not cure.

Hospice Care includes skilled nursing, homemaker and home health aide, volunteer services, pastoral and social work services, medical and pharmaceutical consultations, as well as massage and music therapy sessions. We also have on our interdisciplinary team a physical therapist and a speech and swallow pathologist to provide care when needed. These professionals, under the direction of the Hospice Medical Director and the patient's attending physician, plan the health care services that are to be provided.

"Services" are planned to meet the individual and family's needs. Hospice care focuses on the physical, emotional, social and spiritual comfort of both the patient and family. Hospice care centers around care being provided in the comfort of a person's own home. "Home" in Hospice Care is defined as the place where the patient currently resides whether that is in a house, an apartment, or a Retirement Community with a variety of places to stay such as Cottages, Condominiums, or Residential Assisted Living Apartments or in a Skilled Nursing Facility or Health Center. Hospice of Washington County brings compassionate care and comfort wherever it is needed.

Patients want and deserve to be cared for in their homes and Hospice of Washington County provides this opportunity in the most caring, efficient and cost-effective way. Our attention is on the needs and desires of our community. The goal of the Hospice of Washington County is the provision of hospice services to those who so desperately need them.

Mission Statement

Hospice of Washington County will provide services to patients who are medically diagnosed as terminally ill, and for their families, during such illness and the following period of bereavement, to help ease physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual discomforts attendant upon such illness and death. Hospice of Washington County seeks to help the dying person and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. It assists and encourages family members and friends, as primary care givers, to participate in the patient's care and provide support to the care giver. For those persons who do not have primary care givers, Hospice seeks to identify, teach, coordinate and supervise persons to give care to the patient.

Focus of Hospice Care

  • Comfort, rather than curative measures

  • 24 hour call, 7 days a week availability

  • Pain and symptom control

  • Emotional support

  • Spiritual support, as needed

  • Bereavement support

Hospice care affirms life. It exists to provide support and care for persons in the latter stages of disease so that they might live as fully and comfortably as possible. Our goal is to help patients live until they die.
Hospice care neither hastens nor postpones death. Our focus is on quality of time not quantity. Hospice views death as a natural part of living. It does not promote the use of extraordinary methods to prolong life.
Hospice believes in pain and symptom control. Focus is on making a patient as comfortable as possible. Emphasis is on pain control, not just pain relief.

Our services at Hospice of Washington County are provided by a medically supervised interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers. We tailor our services to the needs of each patient and their family. Patients have the right to be heard and decide what is right for them. We make it possible for patients to continue to live in their own environment surrounded by the people they know and love, living their lives as comfortably and fully as possible.

Hospice of Washington County encourages open communication between patient and family. We believe that sharing feelings and making plans for the future is essential. Even though these issues may be uncomfortable, we believe that, if the patient and family can talk openly, it will make this difficult time easier.
Hospice is a team effort.

The Team Effort

The Hospice Team consists of:

  • Patient and family

  • Personal physician

  • Registered nurses

  • Medical Director

  • Certified Nurses Aides

  • Social Workers

  • Pharmacist

  • Massage Therapist

  • Music Therapist

  • Physical Therapist

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Speech and Swallow therapist

  • Chaplain

  • Trained volunteers


For more information see: The Hospice Team


  • The patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness with a limited prognosis.

  • The patient must reside in Henry, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Louisa or Washington Counties.

  • The patient and family clearly understand that the goal of hospice care is not to cure but to provide care and comfort.


Referrals to Hospice of Washington County should be made as early in the terminal phase as possible.
Early referrals (months before death versus days before death) provide the patient and family more opportunity to work through the following issues:

  • financial and personal arrangements

  • symptom management

  • grief and anger

There is an underlying benefit that happens to patients and their families that are going through such a challenging time in their lives. By becoming a hospice patient earlier in the terminal phase of their diagnoses oddly enough there is a relief that comes from knowing that you or your loved one will be taken care during what could be a very stressful and fearful time period. This underlying benefit allows a patient and their loved ones to enjoy more quality time together enjoying one another and making memories that will continue on.
Patients, family, physicians, nurses, social workers or discharge planners may call the hospice office for more information regarding services offered by Hospice of Washington County.



Who Pays for Hospice?

  • Hospice of Washington County uses community donations to provide care for those without hospice insurance. Medicare & Medicaid cover all hospice services. Many private insurance policies pay for all or part of hospice care. No patient is ever denied care for inability to pay.

  • Hospice of Washington County admits patients based on admission criteria without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age.

  • The button below is a safe, easy way to participate in the important service Hospice provides in the community.


Medicare Hospice Benefit

Patients, family, physicians, nurses, social workers or discharge planners are encouraged to call the hospice office for more information regarding services offered by Hospice of Washington County.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit pays for many services related to the terminal illness when all three of these conditions are met:
1. The patient's physician and the hospice medical director certify that the patient has a
life expectancy of six months or less,
2. The patient chooses to receive care from a hospice instead of standard Medicare
3. Care is provided by a hospice program certified by Medicare.

Medicare pays benefits for:
1. Two 90-day periods,
2. An unlimited number of 60-day periods, if the patient is recertified as terminally ill at the beginning of each period.
The patient may stop hospice care at any time and return to cure-oriented care. Any remaining days in a benefit period are forfeited once hospice care is stopped.

The Medicare Hospice Benefit reimburses the hospice a per diem rate per day for:

  • Nursing services on an intermittent basis
  • Physician services
  • Drugs, including outpatient drugs for pain relief and symptom management
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology
  • Music therapy & massage therapy
  • Home care aide services
  • Medical supplies and appliances
  • Short-term inpatient care, including respite care
  • Medical social service
  • Counseling

Please feel free to call the hospice office if you have any questions at 319-653-7321