1983, the vision of a Hospice in Citrus County was conceived. The Medical Society Auxiliary, along with patients had an alternative as to HOW and WHERE they wished to spend the final days of their lives. The Board of Directors was selected; Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Florida, and application for nonprofit, tax-exempt status was approved in May 1984. The first office space was obtained from Citrus Memorial Hospital and 75 volunteers received training and certification through the Hospice course at Central Florida Community College in Ocala.

October 1985, a Certificate of Need was awarded to Hospice of Citrus County and in August 1986, the first patient received services.

2006 a Certificate of Need was awarded to Hospice of the Nature Coast to provide services in 3A, which includes Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee, and Union counties.

Currently, 13 dedicated community leaders serve on the volunteer Board of Directors. They work to enhance the quality of Hospice services in the community.

Patient Eligibility

Admission into the Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast program is based on:

  • Acceptance and understanding of the Hospice philosophy by the patient and family
  • A diagnosis from the referring physician of a life-limiting illness with a life expectancy of six months or less
  • Services provided in Citrus, Levy, Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, Suwannee, Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Union, Gilchrist and Putnam
  • Care giver available or willingness to move to a location where staff or family is available for patient on a continuous basis if needed

Services provided or arranged by Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast

Hospice services are available based on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week with the primary staff working 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday and on call staff coverage in the evenings after 4:30pm and in weekends. Services offered include:

  • Pain management and symptom control
  • Regularly scheduled visits by Hospice Registered Nurses
  • Coordination with the patient’s physician for plan of care, treatment and medications
  • Medical Equipment, i.e. hospital bed, oxygen, etc.
  • Training and education of family in patient care and use of medications
  • Scheduled visits by home health aides for bathing and personal care needs of patient
  • Social services support
  • Crisis intervention
  • Trained medical staff may be scheduled in your home continuously based on individual needs to teach and monitor pain management and symptom control
  • General inpatient care in local hospitals, if appropriate
  • Spiritual and emotional support
  • Respite provided by volunteers (no hands on care)
  • Respite care in local skilled nursing facility as provided by Medicare/Medicaid Hospice benefit
  • Grief Services

Who Pays?

Medicare pays for hospice care. A physician needs to certify that the disease is life threatening and likely to cause death within 6 months if the disease runs its normal course. Medicaid pays for hospice care. Many private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations will pay for hospice care. There is no out of pocket cost. Donations support the cost of non-funded care.

Questions or concerns call 866.642.0962