Frequently Asked Questions

About Tidewell Hospice Care

Does Tidewell Only Admit Patients with Cancer?

No. While Tidewell has a long history of caring for patients with cancer, we care for anyone with a life-limiting illness including, but not limited to, end-stage heart failure, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (lung) Disease), Alzheimer’s or other dementias and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and those dealing with a failure to thrive.

What Does the Hospice Medicare Benefit Cover?

The Medicare Hospice Benefit covers nursing care, social services, medical equipment, medications used for pain and symptom control and consulting physicians’ fees relative to the terminal illness and planned by the Tidewell interdisciplinary team. It also covers hospitalization and inpatient care if under the hospice plan of care. The key is relativity to the terminal illness.

What’s the difference between regular Medicare and Hospice Medicare?

Through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Tidewell assumes full responsibility for treatment related to the terminal illness. The patient is not billed for these goods and services, and there is no deductible or co-payment.

Does Florida have a Hospice Medicare Benefit?

Yes, the state provides Medicare benefits that mirror the federal benefits.

Is Tidewell affiliated with the Hemlock Society?

No. Tidewell’s philosophy centers around quality of life. By seeking Tidewell services, patients and families indicate a desire to spend their last days together with dignity, control over their situation and with the patient as free from pain as possible. It neither hastens death nor prolongs life.

Does Tidewell admit patients with AIDS?

Yes. Tidewell cares for any patient with a life-limiting illness who meet the admissions criteria for hospice: 1. Certified to have a prognosis of living six months or less 2. Seeking pain and symptom control rather than curative care 3. Living in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte or Desoto counties.

Must patients create/have a living will or Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO) for admission?

No. But Tidewell does encourage families to have these important conversations, create their advance directives and may provide guidance and access to resources. Patients are encouraged not to call 911 in the case of an emergency but to contact their hospice care team for guidance. Patients may go to the hospital if it is recommended for their situation and Tidewell does pay for the cost of admissions for any patient, regardless of their ability to pay, when the stay is related to their hospice diagnosis. Heroic efforts to save lives through artificial means are generally not a part of hospice care.

Is Tidewell a religious organization?

No. Hospice care by the nature of its philosophy may encompass spiritual issues. Upon request, chaplains are available to be a part of a patient’s care team. The decision to address spiritual issues is a personal one which Tidewell will always respect.

What is the difference between palliative and curative care?

Palliative care offers pain and symptom control without the aim of curing. When a patient is admitted he/she acknowledges curative measures are no longer being sought and agrees to palliative care.

Where does Tidewell provide hospice care?

Tidewell provides hospice care anywhere our patients call home – private residences, care facilities, our inpatient units and hospital rooms. Tidewell partners with more than 40 local nursing home facilities and care is provided regardless of their ability to pay. Tidewell Hospice provides hospice care in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

Can Tidewell admit patients who do not have a physician?

Yes. Potential patients may be encouraged to see a physician through a referral service, or a patient can be admitted under the care of a Tidewell physician.

Are all Tidewell patients over 65 years of age?

No. While the majority of our patients are over 65, many are under that age, including children. Tidewell’s Pediatric Hospice Services includes children from birth until the early 20s. Anyone of any age who meets the hospice admissions criteria can receive hospice care.

Does Tidewell offer in-patient facilities?

Yes. Tidewell Hospice has seven Hospice Houses that provide 24/7 expert care in a home-like environments throughout our service area. Tidewell also has two Care Centers inside of care partner facilities. Both are for patients who need extra care and support for symptom control and pain management.

What is bereavement support?

Tidewell offers support for hospice families following the death of their loved one for 13 months. This includes grief support groups, phone support and one-on-one counseling or other activities family members choose to participate in. Community Grief programs are free of charge to adults and children living in our community whether their loved one was a Tidewell patient or not.

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