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Mercy Hospice


In 1979 Mercy pioneered hospice on the Gulf Coast region to care for patients with incurable illnesses. Hospice is a holistic approach for people whose disease has progressed into the final stages of life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, neuromuscular e.g. ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Alzheimer's disease/dementia, liver or kidney failure, HIV/AIDS, diabetes. Today Mercy Hospice focuses on comfort measures, pain management, a patient's wishes and quality of life.

Mercy Hospice offers several care options:

Mercy Hospice care is provided to patients and their families by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers including the patient's physician. The hospice team develops a plan of care that encompasses symptom management, support services and education for the patient and family members.

Mercy team includes:

the patient's physician; a medical director; specialized nurses; physical, occupational, respiratory and recreational therapists; speech-language pathologist; social worker; registered dietitian; and Pastoral Care and Bereavement Services.

A registered nurse case manager, specialized in hospice, meets with the patient and family to discuss hospice care and services, pain and comfort levels, expectations, advanced directives, financial and insurance resources, medications and equipment needs. From the information gathered, the Mercy Hospice team develops a plan of care that outlines support, services, and education for the patient and family members. It addresses a patient's physical, emotional and spiritual well being and offers supportive services for family members.

The interdisciplinary team provides:

  • Case Management of the medical needs for the Hospice diagnosis
  • Skilled nursing care includes:
    • Nurses on call 24/7
    • Nurses specialized in hospice
    • Instruction on treatment, care and medications
    • Physical exams/assessments
    • Systems management - wound care, catheter care, colostomy care, lab tests etc.
  • Nutritional, emotional and spiritual counseling
  • Personal care - bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Assistance with medical equipment and supplies
  • Assistance with financial and community resources
  • Bereavement services
  • Home safety instruction
  • Pastoral Care and Bereavement Services

Admission Guidelines

  • End-stage illness, as determined by a physician, medical director and insurance guidelines
  • Physician referral
  • Cure is not possible
  • *Life expectancy of 6 months or less
  • The patient and family choose hospice rather than a curative treatment
*If a patient outlives his life expectancy and is still eligible by admission guidelines, there is no time limitation on hospice services.

Reimbursement for Mercy Hospice services are provided through Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, voluntary contributions, memorial gifts, and fund-raising events. Hospice benefits pay for all medications related to the terminal illness and for equipment and supplies.

Mercy Hospice serves patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Mercy is approved by Medicare and Alabama Medicaid for most programs, licensed by the State of Alabama and accredited by the Joint Commission.