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Frequently Asked Questions


What is hospice care?

Hospice is a special kind of care for those with serious illnesses. It provides emotional, physical and spiritual support for their families and caregivers.

Hospice care can take place in the patient’s home, or a home-like setting, such as our Woltz Hospice Home or our SECU Hospice Care Center.

Hospice care focuses on keeping the patient comfortable and pain-free to provide the best possible quality of life.

Hospice care includes support for family members and is an essential part of our mission.

Mature Caucasian female nurse assists a female patient in the patient's home. The patient is in a wheelchair.

Who is hospice care for?

Nationally, more than a million patients and their families have utilized the services of hospice. According to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, the leading diagnoses for hospice patients include cancer, circulatory/heart illnesses, and dementia. However, regardless of a patient’s condition or age, hospice programs open their doors and their hearts to all those with serious illnesses.

Can a hospice patient opt to stop receiving services if they desire?

Yes, patients revoke services whenever they feel they no longer need them. We call that graduation from hospice care.

Can a hospice patient receive services such as a hospice aide or a hospital bed even if they declined them when entering hospice care?

Yes, they can decline them on admission, but request them when or as needed. We are proud to have patient-centered plans for all patients.

What is the difference in hospice vs. palliative care?

These two terms have a lot in common, and it’s often easy to confuse the two. Both of these provide comfort and care to those who face serious illnesses. Both are ways of how to manage the pain of a seriously-ill patient at home.

The main difference is that hospice provides care when the treatment of the illness has stopped and the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less.

By comparison, palliative care can begin immediately at diagnosis. (You may wish to refer to this table for more information.)

We’re glad to answer any questions about hospice vs. palliative care. Please call us at 1-888-789-2922, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Can I still see my regular doctor if I have palliative care or in-home hospice care services?

Yes. Our team will work with your doctor to coordinate a care plan tailored just for you.

When can I, or my loved one, receive hospice care near me?

“We wish we had called hospice sooner” is a phrase we hear often.

The fact is that patients and families can benefit most from hospice care when they seek support earlier, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur. Typically, hospice care is designed for patients with six months or less to live, but someone diagnosed with a serious illness may also qualify for palliative care for a longer period of time.

If you are unsure or think you need us, just call. We would be happy to give you or a loved one a free evaluation.

Our team of medical professionals will help you determine if hospice care is appropriate right now, and if not, we’ll help to connect you to other community resources which might be of help.

You can reach us at 1-888-789-2922. Remember, having an evaluation does not obligate you to engage in hospice care.

Which areas do you serve?

We serve nine counties in North Carolina and nine counties in Virginia. You can learn more details about our service area on this website.

Do all hospices operate under one umbrella organization?

No, this is a common misconception. Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care is owned and operated by two community hospitals: Northern Regional Hospital and Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital. Most hospices offer the same core services. But as a not-for-profit, we can offer other programs: Kids’ Path, We Honor Veterans, Pet Peace of Mind.

How can I refer someone (or myself) to Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care?

Make a Referral here or through our 24/7 phone number: 336-789-2922 or toll-free 1-888-789-2922. We would be privileged to serve you.


Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for hospice?

Both Medicare and Medicaid have hospice benefits that will pay for all services associated with the conditions.
In addition, Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care will never turn away a patient due to their lack of insurance or ability to pay. Patient co-pays are determined based upon demonstrated need.

Community contributions help fund care for those who are unable to pay. Financial burdens are lessened when patients choose hospice, in sharp contrast to the huge financial expenses that occur when hospice is not used.

Medicare/Medicaid should cover:

  • Doctor services
  • Nursing care
  • Walkers, wheelchairs and other such equipment
  • Medication
  • Hospice aide services
  • Inpatient care (short-term)
  • Respite care (short-term)
  • Physical therapy
  • Medical supplies

Are hospice care costs covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies—such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, MedCost, etc.—have a hospice benefit for covered participants.

How much your insurance will pay toward hospice care costs depends upon the details of your individual policy. However, most private insurance companies will pay for hospice and palliative care. We’ll work with you to determine the scope of your insurance. You should also contact your insurance representative for more information.

How does hospice receive payment for its services?

Hospice bills the patients’ insurance for services after they are provided. We accept Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans. (Please note that, as a not-for-profit, we not turn away any patient based on whether or not they have insurance.)

How does Mountain Valley Hospice allocate general fiscal donations?

We use them to fund our special programs, including but not limited to Kids’ Path, We Honor Veterans, Pet Peace of Mind, etc.

Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care BBB Business Review
Two Badges for the Mountie Award for 2022 & 2023 Hospice Honors