Hospice Care


Find support and comfort while you or a loved one lives as fully as possible near the end of life. Choose hospice care from Ballad Health at a location in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia – at home, an assisted living site or nursing home, a dedicated hospice facility or a hospital.

What is hospice?

Hospice offers an approach to care that emphasizes quality of life. Hospice respects the natural processes of life and neither hastens nor postpones death.

With services based mainly in the home, hospice care lets you and your loved ones remain in familiar surroundings as you move from a treatment plan focused on curing disease to one designed to provide comfort and relief.

Hospice helps manage pain and other symptoms of an illness in its final stage, while also supporting you and your family emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Is hospice care right for me or my loved one?

When you start hospice care early, it might help you live better and prepare your loved ones for the possibility of your passing. You can trust the caring specialists at Ballad Health to address your specific situation and support the best possible quality of life.

Talk to your doctor to find out if hospice care is right when facing:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Any illness where life expectancy is six months or less

You are the leader of your hospice team, and you can count on our help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your condition goes into remission, you can end hospice services. If you need hospice care later on, you can be readmitted at any time.

When is hospice appropriate?

Generally, patients referred to Ballad Health’s hospice services have:

  • Chosen to no longer pursue aggressive treatment
  • Opted to seek quality of life, rather than quantity of days
  • Received a prognosis of six months or less to live

Recognizing a life-limiting disease does not mean the end of hope. Rather, patients and their families can realize their hopes of living as fully and comfortably as possible with grace and dignity.

Hospice services

Throughout hospice care, you’ll continue to rely on your primary care doctor. You’ll also work with a team of end-of-life care experts to create a unique care plan that respects your wishes and values.

Your hospice care plan might include:

  • Medical and nursing care
  • Pain and symptom management, also known as palliative care
  • Medication management
  • Medical equipment and supply management
  • Medical social work services
  • Spiritual counseling, including pastoral/chaplain services and care
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Physical, occupational, speech and language therapy
  • Grief support, including hospice bereavement groups for adolescents and adults, along with other services for loved ones, lasting up to 13 months after the death

You or your loved one also may participate in special community programs, such as:

  • Camp Caterpillar / Camp Courage – Free, one-day camps for grieving children, teens and adults
  • We Honor Veterans – A program that tailors hospice care for America’s veterans and their loved ones

Hospice care options

Take advantage of one of the following options for care:

Home hospice care

You may choose to get hospice care through home health care services. The dedicated providers at Ballad Health can help your loved ones with your care and visit as often as you need.

You may also choose to stay at home and visit one of our health care facilities for hospice services.

Ballad Health Hospice House

Live well, with grace and dignity, to the end. Ballad Health Hospice House in Bristol offers a peaceful, caring setting for people with an illness in its final stage.

The compassionate staff at Ballad Health Hospice House can help you live as fully as possible, manage your symptoms, deliver care in the final days of life and provide respite services – professional care that gives your primary caregivers, such as family members, the opportunity to take a short-term break.

Hospice care at Ballad Health hospitals

When you’re in a Ballad Health hospital, ask about receiving hospice services to help ease the situation for yourself or your loved ones.

Insurance coverage

Medicare, Medicaid, TennCare and many private insurance companies cover hospice care. You won’t be turned away for a lack of insurance. Learn more about paying for home health and hospice care.


Expect quality care that meets or exceeds national standards because Ballad Health is accredited by The Joint Commission.

Questions to ask your doctor about hospice care

Make sure your health care provider knows what’s important to you. Whatever your stage of life, these questions can help you start a conversation with your doctor:

  • How will you make choices about my care if I am not able to speak for myself?
  • What choices will my loved ones and I have to make? What kind of recommendations will you make to help us?
  • Will you talk openly with me about my health?
  • Will you let me know if treatment stops working, so I can make informed choices?
  • Will you still be available to me when I’m close to the end of my life?
  • Will you support my choice to get hospice care?
  • Will you follow my advance directives, a legal document that says what to do if I am no longer able to make choices for myself?