UPDATE: EveryStep’s top priority is the safety and health of its employees, volunteers, the people in our care, and the people who support us. With that in mind, we have made the following changes to our hospice house policies. Effective March 17, EveryStep is implementing new visitor guidelines at its Kavanagh House on 56th Street in Des Moines and Greater Regional Hospice Home in Creston. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
- We are limiting entry to only two visitors for each patient at a time.
- Also, because children don’t always show typical symptoms of the virus (fever and cough), we are limiting access to adults 18 years or older. We recognize that it may be important for some children to visit a loved one for closure. If you feel such a need exists, please ask to speak with the hospice house director or other leader on staff, who can safely accommodate your request.
To view information about cancellations and rescheduling regarding EveryStep program and events, please visit www.everystep.org/about/covid19.
EveryStep Hospice, formerly HCI Hospice Care Services and Hospice with Heart, helps those living with a serious illness make the best out of every day. EveryStep Hospice is Iowa's oldest and largest not-for-profit, community-based hospice provider. Since launching our hospice program in 1978, thousands of Iowans have turned to us to find comfort and care when they needed it most. All hospices focus on providing pain management and symptom control. However, each hospice is independently run and provides its own programs and services.
What Sets Us Apart:
- The most experienced hospice care provider in Iowa. Founded in 1978, EveryStep Hospice (originally founded as “Hospice of Central Iowa) was the first hospice care provider in Iowa. Our Kavanagh House on 56th Street in Des Moines, which opened in 1993, was one of Iowa’s first hospice houses.
- A free-standing, community-based hospice. EveryStep Hospice is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Staff and volunteers are trained specifically to work with individuals and their families who are coping with an end-stage illness.
- No one is turned away due to an inability to pay. Thanks to the EveryStep Foundation and generous donors, EveryStep Hospice is able to serve hospice-appropriate patients regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance coverage.
- High educational standards for staff. Our hospice team members are held to a high level of excellence and are given the supports they need to learn and develop skills that will best service patients.
- Quality of life program. Whether it's helping to pay for utilities because finances are tight or recreating a favorite home-cooked meal, we help our patients find quality of life on their terms. Sometimes this means fulfilling wishes and create lasting memories for patients and their families.
- Customized services. EveryStep Hospice goes above and beyond by offering specialized care and recognition for Veterans, support for patients' pets, Life Review recordings of patients talking about their lives, and much more.
- Weekend and evening availability. EveryStep's staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to our patients' needs.
- Dedicated volunteers. EveryStep’s corps of more than 700 volunteers is key to providing quality care and support for our mission.
- Community-based care teams. With multiple locally-based teams in communities across Iowa, we are a solid, trusted presence serving nearly half of Iowa's counties. We have teams in Centerville, Council Bluffs, Creston, Des Moines, Knoxville, Mount Ayr, Mount Pleasant, Osceola, Perry, and Winterset.
- A valuable resource for the community. Our grief and loss services are available to the entire community through counseling, resources, and a variety of support groups. We also offer programs and resources to help train and support caregivers.
- Veteran support. EveryStep is recognized as a Level Four Partner through We Honor Veterans.
- Proven quality. EveryStep is certified by the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), and we are frequently recognized as a Top Workplace by the Des Moines Register.
Click here to find out if hospice is right for you or your loved one.
Coverage and Payment Options
Patients and families served by HCI Hospice Care Services can receive a wide variety of services. These services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans. For those who qualify, Medicare Hospice Benefits covers most of the health care costs related to the terminal illness.
Hospice Coverage Frequently Asked Questions:
- If I select Medicare Hospice Benefits, do I continue seeing my own physician?
Yes. Your doctor continues to be your doctor. He or she approves the plan of care, and the hospice team works with your physician to provide that care. EveryStep's chief medical officer and hospice team physician offer extra support if needed.
- If I choose to receive Medicare Hospice Benefits, can I stop hospice care and pursue curative treatment again?
Yes. You are not "locked in." You can choose to stop coverage under Medicare Hospice Benefits at any time. If you do, routine care for your illness is covered by regular Medicare benefits as it was before your hospice care. There is no penalty. You can also re-enroll in the Medicare Hospice Benefits at any time as long as you are eligible.
- How long can I receive hospice care?
You can choose to receive hospice care for as long as you desire and your physician certifies that you are terminally ill.
- If I don’t have Medicare, can I still receive care from EveryStep Hospice?
Yes, we work with many types of insurance and also serve people who don’t have insurance. Your team social worker can help you review your financial coverage options, such as:
1. Private insurance – Most private insurance companies offer coverage for hospice care. Our team will review your plan’s benefits with you.
2. Medicaid – For those who qualify, Medicaid is a health insurance program that helps pay for prescription medications, respite care costs and other hospice services related to the terminal illness.
3. EveryStep Foundation – If you don’t have any insurance, our team will work with you to understand your needs and help you enroll in a plan or apply for support through our Foundation. EveryStep Foundation assists families who are financially in need. Ask your social worker for more details.
Patient and Family Handbook
Download our Patient & Family Handbook, a free resource that provides an overview for our hospice services, Medicare hospice benefits, and important policies and practices.
Our Hospice Houses
Most hospice care is provided through in-home hospice services. However, when a patient needs around-the-clock hospice care to manage their pain and symptoms, our hospice houses are available. Our hospice facilities provide a home-like atmosphere with private bedrooms, living rooms, family kitchens, meditation rooms and other family amenities. Patients and families can also enjoy being outdoors where they are surrounded by nature and scenic gardens. Respite care, a period of time up to five days in which the primary caregiver is relieved of caregiving, is also available.
Our Hospice Care Team
||Kavanagh House on 56th Street, Established 1993
900 56th Street, Des Moines, IA 50312
Greater Regional Hospice Home, Established 2008
1111 Country Club Drive, Creston, IA 50801
(641) 782-3528 • (888) 464-7222
You and your family decide on the services right for you, and your hospice care team works to help with your needs. Your hospice care team nurse works with you and your family to create a customized plan for your care. The plan details the services you and your family receive. Your care plan can be changed at any time, depending on your needs. Members of the hospice team may include:
Patients and their families.
Patient’s physician and/or an EveryStep team physician or nurse practitioner.
Nurses who work with the patient’s physician to manage comfort and teach family members how to care for the patient.
Aides who help the patient bathe, walk, and get in and out of bed; remind the patient to take medications; assist with meals; and change linens and do light housekeeping.
Social workers who help the patient and family manage ongoing challenges related to end of life. They offer emotional support and education on finances, caregiving, and end-of-life planning.
Spiritual care counselors who connect patients and caregivers with spiritual resources that support the dignity and comfort of each individual family and help the human spirit in its search for peace and meaning.
Pharmacists, therapists, dietitians and others who offer special skills, therapies, and knowledge to meet the unique needs of patients and their families.
Volunteers who can provide company and understanding, help with errands or prepare light meals, assist with care, provide relief for caregivers, and provide a ride to medical appointments.
Bereavement counselors who are available to families throughout the end-of-life journey to provide educational materials and learning opportunities and offer support to the family for up to one year.
Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program
Today, one in four dying Americans is a Veteran. EveryStep is recognized as a Level Four Partner through We Honor Veterans. Our Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program is a special service that pairs Veterans who are volunteers with patients who have served our country. Veteran partners provide companionship while talking, reading, and sitting with patients. There are some issues veterans only feel comfortable sharing with other veterans. Veterans bring a unique skill set to help patients come to terms with past events, finding peace at end of life.
Our Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers bring care to patients wherever they call home: in long-term care facilities, in hospitals, and at home. Training is provided. Veteran partners may assist with honoring our patients with special “pinning” ceremonies and Veterans' Day cards or with special events.
If you are interested in volunteering in our Veteran-to-Veteran program, call us today at 515-333-5810 or fill out our volunteer form.
Hospice Frequently Asked Questions.
- What is hospice care?
Hospice offers a team approach to care of those with serious illnesses and their families. We are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of our patients and families.
- If I know of someone who is terminally ill, how can I access services?
Anyone can call to refer a patient to hospice care. Call EveryStep Hospice at (800) 806-9934 to start the process. You can also fill out a Find Care form.
When a person has hospice services, who will be involved in the care?Care is customized to each patient based on his or her care plan goals. Care and support are offered by a team of professionals, including nurses, social workers, hospice aides, volunteers, pharmacists, spiritual care counselors, bereavement counselors, dietitians, team physicians, a medical director, therapists, and other health professionals.
- Sometimes people say that choosing hospice is giving up hope. Is this true?
Choosing hospice care is not giving up hope. In fact, choosing hospice means that the patient can look forward to living his or her remaining weeks and months in comfort with dignity and surrounded by people who care. When the focus turns from cure to care, that's when it's time to call.
- Where do your services take place?
Hospice care services are provided first and foremost in the home. If, for some reason, the patient can't or chooses not to stay in the home, services are also provided in area nursing homes, hospitals, and at our hospice houses.
- Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
Hospice does nothing to speed up or slow down the death process. We make the patient comfortable until death comes peacefully and naturally.
- Should I wait for the physician to recommend hospice care, or should I bring it up during one of our visits?
You should feel free to approach the subject of hospice care at any time with your physician. The doctor will let you know when the appropriate timing might be. You may ask for an information-only meeting so you are prepared in the future when services are needed.
- How is the cost of hospice care covered?
Hospice care through our organization is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance policies. We also offer a sliding fee scale for those with no coverage. The EveryStep Foundation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable care each year, assuring care is available to everyone who needs it. Under Medicare and Medicaid, all costs are covered (including durable medical equipment) except for 5 percent of pharmacy costs. Private insurance coverage is per the individual's contract. Medications are usually paid at 100 percent.