VNA Hospice Care

The first and most trusted provider in Texas.

What We Do

VNA Hospice Care is the most experienced hospice care provider in Texas and serves patients across 16 counties. Our hospice care team focuses on helping our patients live life to its fullest with dignity, care, and respect. We develop a comprehensive care plan uniquely designed to meet each individual person’s culture, values, and beliefs. Our care team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help support our patients and their loved ones every step of the way.

Our Hospice Mission Statement

To provide quality of life through comprehensive, interdisciplinary care that addresses one’s physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health, while also caring for the families of those facing serious or life-limiting illness and loss.

How we support our patients

How We Support Patients

  • Experienced care delivered wherever the patient calls home
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Care plan coordination
  • Medication management
  • Emotional, psychological and spiritual support for the patient and their family
  • Medical equipment and supply management
  • Medical social work services
  • Specialized care for: Alzheimer’s and dementia, cancer, CHF, and pulmonary disease
  • Music and pet therapy
  • Meals on Wheels (Dallas County)
  • Bereavement support
Clinical Excellence

Clinical Excellence

The experienced team at VNA Hospice Care is focused on ensuring our patients receive the highest quality care at every stage of their journey.

Learn more about our clinical quality measures.

What to Expect

Once your medical team and family have decided hospice is the right level of care, we will support you through every phase of the process. It’s not uncommon for patients to actually feel better in some ways once they begin hospice.

Patients come to us through a physician referral, or families reach out to us directly. If a physician refers you to our care, we will work directly with the doctor on review of all medical records and the patient’s condition. If you reach out to us directly, we can connect with the patient’s physician to begin the referral and medical review process for you.

A VNA Hospice Care Community Liaison will reach out to you to conduct a benefits review and complete any necessary paperwork. Once the paperwork is complete, a nurse will visit the patient for a full evaluation which will inform the plan of care.

If the patient meets eligibility criteria, he/she is admitted to our care and a customized care plan is put into action, which will include an interdisciplinary team and visits designed to meet his/her unique needs. Families can expect updates from their dedicated RN Case Manager after each visit.

The Care Team

Our care teams are comprised of trained professionals and volunteers whose main goals are to ensure we are caring for the whole patient and their loved ones. They proactively communicate with each patient’s doctor(s) and approved family members, ensuring the care plans are followed and that patient status is communicated clearly and consistently.

Hospice staff prepare, train, guide and support the caregiver(s) throughout the hospice experience to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. The staff will help set up a place in the home where it will be easiest to provide care.

Registered Nurses (RNs) are the patient’s main medical caregiver(s) and report ongoing health conditions directly to the doctor. The patient’s dedicated RN also serves as the Care Coordinator and is responsible for overseeing the patient’s overall plan of care. VNA RNs are trained in the art of symptom management and provide compassionate, hands-on care as well as education to caregivers on how to provide care to their loved one at home.

A medical social worker will be your family’s connection to helping you access any needed community resources and offer counseling and emotional support during the process.

Certified Hospice Aides may help with bathing, grooming or other personal care services. Their role is to help provide support to the patient’s family and caregiver(s).

These hospice specialists often help patients improve or recover basic life skills they may have lost over time, such as walking, dressing, eating or speaking.

Spiritual counselors are available to provide comfort and support. VNA Hospice Care is able to provide spiritual counseling for all faiths and creeds. If requested, the VNA Chaplain can work directly with the patient’s clergy to provide additional support.

The Hospice Physician is an invaluable member of the interdisciplinary hospice team. Physicians provide the medical expertise to manage care at the end of life.

*In addition to the VNA Hospice Physician, the patient is able to choose any attending physician to oversee their care if desired.

After completing the VNA Hospice Training Program, VNA volunteers offer compassionate support and companionship for patients and their families. Volunteers can serve in multiple roles including: providing caregiver respite, reading and/or listening to music with the patient, documenting patient stories and memories, running light errands and providing emotional support.

How Can We Help?

If you are discussing hospice care for a loved one and have questions or would like to have more information about VNA Hospice Care, please contact us. There is a chat option, contact form, or you may call or email us via the contact information at the bottom of this page.

Refer A Patient

Special Programs

We offer special programs to help ensure our patients have the highest quality of life. Each program is led by trained and certified specialists.

FAQ

Quality time with loved ones is always the ultimate goal of hospice. When continued medical treatment might provide a few more weeks or months of life but could make the patient too ill to benefit from that time, consider the quality of that time to make the best decision for the patient.

Patients can be eligible for hospice after a physician certifies they have a life expectancy that may be six months or less. If patients live beyond the six months, they can continue to receive hospice services as long as they show decline and their doctor continues to document their eligibility.

A doctor can best determine when the time is right to consider hospice, but here are some signs to watch for:

  • The negative effects of current treatments outweigh the benefits
  • Frequent hospitalization
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Consistent pain
  • Frequent nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to move about or maintain personal care

Hospice is provided to patients who have a terminal illness – which is defined as having a prognosis of six months or less if the disease or illness runs its normal course.

MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS TO COVER HOSPICE:

  • Physician’s order
  • Estimate of six months or less to live if the disease follows its normal progression
  • Patient must agree to palliative care for the terminal diagnosis rather than curative care

Hospice service can begin as soon as a referral is made by the patient’s doctor. A prospective patient, family member or friend can either request services through a local hospice provider — which then consults with the patient’s physician — or go directly to the patient’s physician for a referral.

Once the referral is made, the hospice provider contacts the patient to review the services they will offer and have the necessary forms signed. Typically, care begins within one or two days of the referral, but in urgent situations service can begin sooner.

Note: If you or a loved one are currently benefiting from treatments intended to cure an illness — you may want to consider Palliative Care.

Now — before it is needed — is the best time to learn about hospice. Even if end-of-life care is hard to discuss, it’s wise for loved ones and family members to talk before there is an emergency. Decisions like this are best made when there is time to carefully consider all options, not when the need is immediate, and emotions are running high. This can greatly reduce stress, emotion and anxiety when the time for hospice is at hand so the patient can enjoy the most quality time possible with friends and family.

Please contact VNA directly at gethelp@vnatexas.org or call 1(800) CALL-VNA, or let your physician know that you request VNA as your hospice provider. You have the right, by law, to choose your hospice caregiver and VNA will provide the quality of care that you know you can trust.

Yes. Your own physician can continue to oversee and direct the care.

VNA Hospice Care involves a range of medical care and emotional support for terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

Our services include:

  • Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care
  • Heart Failure Program
  • Oncology Care
  • Pain Management
  • Physician Oversight
  • Nursing Services
  • Hospice Aide Services
  • Chaplain Services
  • Social Worker Services
  • Bereavement Services
  • Volunteer Support
  • Equipment/Supply Ordering & Setup
  • Medication Ordering & Management

Your VNA Hospice Care Team will order all the appropriate equipment, medical supplies and medications to ensure the patient’s comfort in the home. At some stage this might include a hospital bed, oxygen and other equipment.

Hospice is covered for those with Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage programs. VNA also accepts many commercial insurance plans, as most plans have a hospice benefit for end-of-life care, including:

Aetna
Baylor Scott & White Healthcare
BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
Humana Managed Care
Medicaid
Medicare
United Healthcare
All Medicare Managed Care plans (must be verified)
All Medicaid Managed Care plans (must be verified)

Both hospice and palliative care provide symptom management and comfort for serious and life-threatening illnesses. The most important difference is that palliative care allows a patient to maintain their current curative treatments and physician visits while also receiving in-home support. In hospice, one can still maintain the physician of choice to oversee care, but when one elects the hospice benefit, they are choosing to forgo curative treatments for comfort measures and the focus shifts from quantity of life to quality of life.

Selecting the right care at the right time is an important decision.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) provides this helpful guide to navigate these options:

https://www.nhpco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/PalliativeCare_VS_Hospice.pdf

Every hospice is required to provide the same levels of care. This includes the routine homecare level, which makes up about 97% of all hospice care and can be provided wherever the patient calls home (skilled nursing facility, assisted living, congregate setting or in a traditional home). Also included are crisis care (or continuous care), which is provided by a nurse at the bedside 24/7 to acutely manage uncontrolled symptoms, and General Inpatient care (GIP), which is provided in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, and is also for uncontrolled symptoms that cannot be managed in another setting. Once a patient stabilizes, they will return to the routine level of care. Another level of care is respite care, which occurs when a patient is moved from the home setting to a skilled nursing facility to provide up to five days of care to allow for caregiver relief. Many families enjoy this benefit for a short time if they have a planned trip or other family event or just need to take a break from the difficult work of caregiving.

Hospice is a unique form of healthcare that is community based and provided by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurse practitioners, RN case managers, chaplains or spiritual support providers, social workers, volunteers and many other therapists including music therapy. The care plan delineates what care a patient needs and will receive, and the family and patient’s input is critical to determine what the best plan will be for each independent patient. The visit frequency is also highly individualized and determined by the care team in conjunction with the patient and family and based on what is needed to best meet the needs and support of each patient.

None of us like to think about dying, much less talk about how we envision the last days of our life. But often life intervenes and our first conversation about end-of-life is with a terminally ill parent, spouse or friend. Here are some tips for family and friends to help their loved one:

Be there. Call and visit your mom, dad, relative or friend as often as possible. If you are unable to visit, stay in touch. Write notes about memories and the love you share.

Be a good listener. Allow your loved one to talk about their terminal illness and impending death at their own pace. Don’t force your own opinions, but be ready to discuss various options for end-of-life care.

Educate yourself about the illness. Information is available through national associations, medical reference books and other readily available sources in your library or on the Internet. If appropriate, talk to the attending physician about the illness and its terminal stages. VNA’s physicians are experts in serious illness care and treatment options.

Be compassionate. Let your loved one express his or her feelings about their illness and condition without criticism. Let them verbalize how they are feeling, even if you may not agree with what they are saying. Tell them they are loved and that you are there for them.

Offer practical help. If possible, straighten up the house or apartment, bring meals, and/or provide transportation – both for practicality and companionship. Show you care.

Recognize your own limitations. If you’re thinking, “Why am I so uncomfortable with this?”, you may be feeling that you can’t cope with the situation. If so, try to understand your reluctance and deal with it honestly. Or maybe you wonder, “What can I do to show love and compassion?” If you can’t visit, then call or write notes. Find other ways to help, perhaps by arranging for in-home assistance. VNA Social Workers are here to provide counseling and resources any time you may need it.

Remember that you, too, will experience worry, fear, even anger. Loved ones and caregivers also experience anxiety, dread and denial upon learning that a family member or dear friend has a terminal illness. These feelings are normal and yet can be overwhelming. If you are the caregiver, you will need to learn to seek and accept help for your own physical and emotional strain. This is an area with which VNA Social Workers and spiritual support counselors can assist.

If a patient’s health improves while receiving hospice services, or illness goes into remission, the patient’s doctor may stop hospice services. Any patient has the right to discontinue hospice for any reason, and return to hospice at any time, if eligible. If a patient stops hospice services, the type of Medicare coverage he or she had before choosing a hospice program resumes.

The Hospice Association of America has developed the Hospice Patient’s Bill of Rights, which is generally accepted by all hospices in the United States. As a patient, you or your loved one have a right to be notified in writing of your rights and obligations before hospice services begin. Consistent with state laws, the patient’s family or guardian may exercise the patient’s rights when the patient is unable to do so. Hospice providers have an obligation to protect and promote the rights of their patients, including their right to:

  • Financial Integrity
  • Dignity and Respect
  • Privacy
  • Quality Care
  • Decision-Making Authority
  • Knowing What Responsibilities Lie with Hospice and with the Patient/Caregiver

Please contact VNA directly at gethelp@vnatexas.org or call 214-689-0000.

Yes. For those experiencing loss and grief, our team is here to help. Please reach out to our grief support team at griefcare@vnatexas.org.

Service Areas

VNA Hospice Care serves 16 counties in Texas, including:

Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Henderson, Johnson, Kaufman, Rockwall, Van Zandt, and Wise Counties and parts of Cooke, Hunt, Navarro, and Tarrant Counties

VNA Headquarters & Dallas Branch

1420 W. Mockingbird Lane
700
Dallas, TX 75247
(214) 689-0000
Counties Served: Dallas & Tarrant

VNA Ann’s Haven Branch

2800 Shoreline
250
Denton, TX 76210
(940) 349-5900
Counties Served: Cooke, Tarrant & Denton

East Texas Branch

874 Ed Hall Drive
105
Kaufman, TX 75142
(972) 962-7500
Counties Served: Ellis, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall & Van Zandt

Collin Branch

7290 Virginia Parkway
2300
McKinney, TX 75071
(972) 562-0140
Counties Served: Collin & Grayson

Amy

Wife

Testimonials

VNA provided hospice for John, a Hickory Creek Police Sergeant in his late 30s, husband, and father of three. Too young by far to be eligible for Medicare, John never expected hospice coverage to be something he needed. He never expected the cancer that attacked him. Eventually, he simply couldn’t keep working. The day before Thanksgiving, his doctors told him there was nothing more they could do. From that point, his condition worsened rapidly, and within a few weeks, Amy (his wife) knew she needed help.

John spent the last week of his life with support from Visiting Nurse Association Hospice Care, and was able to pass away with dignity, his family by his side at the end.

“VNA Hospice Care was amazing. They took such a load off of me. I could concentrate on John and our family in the last days of his life. No words can describe how much it meant to me.”

Certifications & Licensing

VNA has been Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) accredited since 2010. All hospice organizations are required to meet state and federal regulations in order to operate. However, obtaining CHAP accreditation requires meeting higher standards of care and going above and beyond Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. VNA was recently audited by CHAP (standard for all CHAP-accredited agencies) and was found to have no deficiencies.

The National Institute for Jewish Hospice (NIJH) provides accreditation that testifies to a hospice’s ability to serve Jewish clients in a culturally sensitive way. Accreditation includes training on Jewish culture and religion and is reviewed annually.

Awards and Recognition

  • Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work – 2020
  • Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work – 2019
  • D Magazine’s 2019 Excellence in Nursing Award – VNA’s Director of Quality, Sarah Miles, RN
  • LivingWell Reader’s Choice – Top Docs 2019
  • Living Magazine Reader’s Choice – Top Healthcare 2019
  • Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization (TNMHO) Lifetime Achievement Award – 2019
  • 2020 Best of Denton for Hospice Care for VNA Ann’s Haven by Denton Record Chronicle
  • Living Magazine Reader’s Choice – Best of 2020
  • Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization (TNMHO) Hospice Advocacy Award – 2020
  • D Magazine’s 2020 Best of Big D Heroes Edition – Karen Scholarder, Music Therapist
Volunteer or donate

Volunteer/Donate

You can support VNA Hospice or VNA Meals on Wheels by giving your time or contributions. Hospice volunteers are an essential part of our care team, and donations to support our patients who need additional support are always appreciated.