Hospice care began as a volunteer service provided to terminally ill patients before it became a Medicare reimbursed service in the United States in the 1980's. There are still fully volunteer hospice services in the country although their services are somewhat limited. As such Volunteers are still a major part of Hospice Care and Volunteers work side by side with the hospice care team and provide a wide range of support services. In order to continue the volunteering aspect of hospice care, Medicare has put forth a 5% cost saving requirement for hospice programs to utilize volunteers to provide patient care and volunteer support. For more details, there is more information available from the NHPCO.
Steeped in History
"From its humble beginnings as a volunteer service that reflected the compassion and generosity of caregivers, hospice today still has incredible volunteers that support the hospice care team. As a patient, I am so thankful for the compassion of these people!" - anonymous