Hospice Care

Cypress Basin Hospice offers a wide variety of services to assist you and your loved ones. Please feel free to browse the following information to learn more about us as well as hospice care in general.

Hospice is a Philosophy of Care

The hospice philosophy recognizes death as the final stage of life and seeks to enable patients to continue an alert and pain-free life with aggressive symptom control. This is so their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice believes in letting life conclude naturally; neither hastening or postponing death. It focuses on the quality rather than the length of life. It provides family-centered care involving the patient and their family in all decision making.

Hospice is a centuries-old idea of offering a place of shelter and rest or “hospitality” to weary and sick travelers who were on a long journey. Dame Cicely Saunders at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London was first to apply the term “hospice” to the specialized care for dying patients in 1967. It still remains a concept of providing rest and shelter to those who are sick and weary on life’s final journey.

Cypress Basin Hospice believes that our responsibility during this time is to provide a comprehensive and individualized care plan that identifies and honors the wishes and goals of the patient and their family. We develop a comprehensive care plan by reviewing the programs and services that are available, identifying the clinical needs as well any spiritual, psychosocial and bereavement needs. Interdisciplinary team visits are then made to support the care plan.

Quality of life goes beyond treating a life-limiting illness. It’s about living life as comfortably, fully and independently as possible. At Cypress Basin Hospice we understand how other factors impact a patient’s quality of life and their ability to live each day. We look at and respond to all of the patient’s and family’s needs.

Community Owned – Community Grown

The communities who started our program also entrust us with resources to help offset the costs of patient services, provide for other aspects of daily living, and bring peace and comfort to patients and their loved ones. We understand that our communities believe in the concept of neighbors helping neighbors. Through our service we honor that trust and commitment made so many years ago. We care for our community members where they live and never discriminate based on their ability to pay for our services.

Our Mission

“Honoring life by providing comfort, care, and compassion”

Cypress Basin Hospice is a non-profit healthcare organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of Mt. Pleasant, Paris, Sulphur Springs, and all Northeast Texas residents who have a chronic illness. We strive to prevent and alleviate pain and suffering. We provide the highest quality services to patients and families through professional care guided by calming compassionate values and delivered by an experienced Palliative Care Team. Our collaborative relationships are energized by our commitment to patient advocacy and palliative medical education.

Our Commitments

Cypress Basin Hospice has been delivering compassionate, patient and family focused care for over 2 decades. We strongly believe in commitment to quality healthcare, commitment to community, and commitment to education.

Our commitment to Quality Health Care starts with care planning. In delivering our “service” model of care, we are always asking “What else is needed or What else can we do?” Our care planning creates frequency of visits for each discipline involved in caring for our patient and family; these frequencies are driven by the progression of the illness and the needs of the patient and family. They are always responsive to what is needed.

Our commitment to Community is demonstrated by the programs and services we provide our communities. It can be found in the Grief and Bereavement support that comes from our grief workshops and Camp Brave Heart. Our grief workshops are available to whoever needs them and regardless of whether they were on our hospice program. Our Camp Brave Heart is a bereavement camp for children who have suffered loss; they are offered in the summer and are free of charge to the campers. Our hospice agency believes strongly in giving back to our communities and we do so through active participation in Chambers of Commerce, civic groups and community events.

Our commitment to Education is based upon the principle that good hospice care teaches people what to expect from illness, arms them with knowledge to relieve stress and anxiety and helps them through periods of crisis and uncertainty. We provide education to our communities to enhance awareness about end of life care and the importance of advanced illness planning and disease management.

For more information regarding Cypress Basin Hospice, please call the office nearest you:

Mt. Pleasant- 903-577-1510

Paris- 903-905-4574

Sulphur Springs- 903-951-1194

Toll Free Number- 1-888-429-2966

Good Hospice care includes the services of an Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) of health care professionals.

  • Physicians (the patient’s own physician and the Hospice physician) manage the care received; they prescribe needed medications and therapies directed to relieve suffering and manage other symptoms of the illness. They direct the plan of care developed by the IDT.
  • Nurses (R.N.s and L.V.N.s) are highly experienced in establishing and then managing patient comfort. R.N.s assess the patient frequently, work tirelessly to stay ahead of difficult symptoms and help family members provide the necessary support. They in essence become the eyes and ears of the patient’s physician.
  • Certified Nurse Aides and Hospice Aides provide personal care designed to give relief to the family caregiver and assist the patient with activities of daily living. Their comfort and companionship is highly valued by the families they serve.
  • Social Workers coordinate community resources and assist the patient and family with various non-medical concerns. They can assist family members with the emotional issues that accompany illness, help address relationship issues and assist with advanced illness planning.
  • Chaplains help patients and families cope with any spiritual concerns at end of life, either directly or by coordinating services with the patient’s spiritual advisors or personal pastor.
  • Bereavement Coordinators assist patients and families deal with grief. Bereavement and grief support continue for thirteen months after the death of a hospice patient. Workshops and support groups are available to provide additional support.
  • Volunteers are available to provide companionship and emotional support to both the patient and family and can help in number of ways, from running errands to sitting with the patient so the family caregiver can take a break.
  • Hospice staff is available by phone at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and after hours call outs are provided as well.

These services are designed to address the needs of the patient and family while providing an aggressive response to whatever the illness is creating.

The care and support provided by Cypress Basin Hospice benefits anyone suffering from the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness, illnesses that include heart disease, renal disease, liver disease, neurological disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and pulmonary disease. Some of the warning signs patient’s experience that might assist your family in having discussions with your physician are:

  • Frequent trips to the Emergency Department or frequent hospitalizations
  • Decreased appetite and unintentional weight loss
  • Increased weakness or falls
  • Increased assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Increased frequency of medications or dosage required to manage symptoms
  • Increased skin breakdown and difficulty in managing wounds
  • Increased shortness of breath or need for oxygen
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed and needing more resources

Hospice Eligibility

Beginning hospice early has been proven to benefit patients as well as their family. Studies show patients actually live longer and have better quality of life with hospice care and caregivers suffer less emotional stress. Determining the right time to refer for hospice care can be challenging. In addition to the warning signs discussed above, the following are also important criteria needed for entrance into hospice care.

  • Diagnosis of a life limiting illness with a limited prognosis
  • Desire for comfort care rather than curative care
  • Capable caregiver to assist the patient or a plan for one when necessary (Remember hospice care can be provided wherever the patient may reside- home, nursing facility, assisted living facility, retirement center)

Anyone with a terminal illness that has chosen to forgo curative directed treatment and has a physician that is willing to certify them as having a life expectancy of six months or less is considered eligible for hospice care. Medicare realizes that no one, even physicians can accurately predict or prognosticate the end of life and therefore understands the unpredictability of life limiting illnesses. Another requirement that can affect entry into hospice is the need for adequate caregiver assistance in home or an other location where services will be delivered. While this is not an automatic requirement upon admission, it must be understood by the patient and family that it will be required once the illness progresses to the point that more appropriate supervision is needed.

Referral for consideration of hospice care can come from anyone. The patient, family, friend, spiritual advisor, nursing home staff, hospital discharge planner, physician’s office, etc. can contact Cypress Basin Hospice to request that we talk with the patient and family regarding hospice services and appropriateness for hospice care. This is called an informational consult and is available without cost or obligation. It is important to remember however that receiving an informational consult does not always mean admission. A consult is simply a fact finding mission that allows the patient and family to discover resources available for care in a non-threatening manner. Should the patient decide to accept hospice care a primary physician would need to be identified, contacted, and provide certification of illness and give approval for admission. Patients who have a chronic illness and choose not to accept hospice care may consider receiving assistance from the Transitions Program.

Admission into Cypress Basin Hospice involves a meeting with the patient and agreed upon caregiver.

The hospice services provided by Cypress Basin Hospice are funded by Medicare Part A, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies. Most patients and families don’t realize that Medicare provides a separate benefit for Medicare patients who elect hospice; called the Medicare Hospice Benefit and covers everything related to managing the patient’s terminal illness, other than physician charges. That means it also covers needed and approved medications, medical equipment and supplies.

Cypress Basin Hospice is fortunate to be able to provide care to those that are under-funded or unfunded through the generous donations and memorials given by the citizens of our communities and patient’s families and friends. Community support is what started Cypress Basin Hospice and what continues to allow us to grow and expand our services to the communities we serve.

If you have specific questions about funding or covered and noncovered services, please feel free to contact Cypress Basin Hospice at 903-577-1510 or 1-888-429-2966.

Cypress Basin Hospice provides care in a variety of settings. Many of our patients and families wish to remain at home throughout the duration of the illness and, with our help, are able to do so. It is the policy of Cypress Basin Hospice to provide care in the patient’s place of residence. If there can be no caregiver at the residence, we have contractual relationships with most of the long term care facilities in the area including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many patients who reside in nursing homes and receive Medicaid are not aware they have the right to receive hospice care.

We also have contractual relationships with the acute care hospitals in our service area so that if we need to utilize their resources for pain and symptom control experience that our staff has developed, making frequent trips to the hospital unnecessary. We can also utilize hospital services for respite care, a program made available to a patient’s caregiver so they can recover from some of the physical, emotional and mental stresses associated with caring for a loved one.

Hospices are like any other service or business you use and should be evaluated on what they offer or provide the patient and family. Choosing one should be given the same consideration that you would use in selecting a bank to do business with or deciding which stores to shop. Hospices are not alike and the services as well as the quality of service can vary. Here are some questions you might ask when deciding which hospice to use.

“How Often Will a Nurse Make Visits?”

Nursing visits should be determined by the progression of the illness, the symptoms being experienced and the needs of the patient and family who are taking care of the patient. They could increase or decrease but should always be responsive to changing conditions.

“Who Are Your Medical Directors and What Type of Medical Background Do They have?”

Hospice Medical Directors can have a variety of specialties as well as hospice experience. Medical Directors are responsible for the clinical management of the hospice program and many times are asked to provide clinical supervision of the patient by the patient’s referring or primary physician. Physicians can receive a Board Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine just like being board certified in Internal Medicine or other specialty.

“What Will Be Your Response Time If I Need You in the Middle of the Night or on Weekends?”

All hospices should be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Asking how a call is covered can give you an idea as to how long it might take to reach you if you need to call after hours.

“Is the Hospice Accredited?”

Accreditation is a process and commitment some hospices make to demonstrate their focus on quality of care. Accreditation is usually obtained from either CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program) or JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations).

Being accredited demonstrates that a hospice meets and exceeds the standards of care required by both state licensing authorities and the federal government.

“How Long Have You Been in the Community and Where Are Your Offices Located”

Is the hospice a part of the community or do they provide their services from out of town? This could impact the time it takes to respond to patient and family needs. Talk to programs that have served the community for many years; usually friends, neighbors and family members have had a hospice experience with them and can be asked for recommendations.

“Is Your Hospice Non-Profit or For- Profit”

This is an important question as it could influence the degree of autonomy in creating or adding services. It could also determine the level and frequency of services provided. Corporately owned hospices typically are operated to produce a profit for their owners and investors while non-profit hospices focus on the value of the service delivered. Non-profit programs are usually governed by a volunteer Board of Directors living in and representing the communities served by the hospice. Non-profit programs do have the advantage of being able to receive favorable tax advantages in operating their programs as well as receiving community support through donations and fundraising. These additional funds allow for more services and programs to be developed and provided to the community.

“Does Your Hospice Have Working Relationships and Contracts With Other Area Providers if I Need It?”

Hospices are required to provide different levels of care to their patients when needed. In addition to Home Care, this includes In-patient Care, Respite Care and Continuous Care. These services may be provided directly by the hospice or by contract. In addition, Home Care is to be delivered wherever the patient may reside, such as a Nursing Facility or Assisted Living Facility. Does the hospice have contracts and working relationships in place when a change in the level of care is needed?

Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurance Plans have specific hospice benefits and they establish the reimbursement rates paid to Hospice for the care received. These hospice benefits cover the costs related to the principle hospice diagnosis and include the services of the hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT), medications necessary for symptom management of the principle diagnosis and related conditions, medical equipment, and supplies. Care received by the patient’s personal physician is not covered by hospice benefits but can continue to be billed to the insurance source by the physician. Services provided by the Hospice physician are not billed to the patient or family.

Cypress Basin Hospice bills the insurance source available to the patient receiving services. We also provide our home care services to patients and families regardless of their ability to pay.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to better inform our patients and their families about the services we provide.

Fiction: Hospice is a place, so you must leave your home to receive care.

FACT: In actuality, Hospice is a type of care, not a place. In fact, most hospice care is delivered in the patient’s’ own home. Care provided in the home allows families to be together when they need it the most, sharing final days in peace, comfort and dignity. For those that can no longer remain at home, we provide hospice care in nursing facilities, special rooms in area hospitals, and assisted living centers.

Fiction: Choosing hospice care means giving up hope.

FACT: When faced with a life-limiting or serious illness, many patients and families tend to dwell on the imminent loss of life, rather than on making the most of the life that remains. Hospice helps patients reclaim the spirit of life. It helps patients understand that even though illness can lead to sadness, anger and pain, it can also lead to opportunities for reminiscence, laughter and reunion.

Fiction: You can’t keep your own doctor on hospice.

FACT: In the Cypress Basin Hospice home care program, your own physician continues to be your primary doctor and will consult with the Cypress Basin Hospice Medical Director when necessary in order to keep you free from pain and other troublesome symptoms.

Fiction: Hospice can only help when family members are available to provide care for the patient.

FACT: Recognizing that people may live alone, or with family members who are unable to provide caregiver support, Cypress Basin Hospice can coordinate community resources to make home care possible. Cypress Basin Hospice can also help to find an alternative location in which the patient can safely receive care.

Fiction: Hospice is for people who don’t need a high level of care.

FACT: This couldn’t be further from the truth. Hospice is serious medicine. Cypress Basin Hospice is Medicare-certified, which means that we must employ medical and nursing personnel with skills in controlling pain and other symptoms of illness. Cypress Basin Hospice offers state-of-the art palliative care, using advanced technologies to prevent or alleviate distressing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or nausea.

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