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Hospice workers provide support for terminally ill patients in the final stages of their illness. Hospice care is a benefit under Medicare Hospital Insurance and eligible persons can receive medical and support services for their terminal illnesses. Care is primarily provided in the patients' homes, but may also be provided in nursing homes and hospitals, with the intent to make patients as comfortable and pain-free as medically possible during the final days of their lives. A team of specially trained professionals and volunteers provides hospice care. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reported that 1.6 million patients received hospice care in 2012.
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