My understanding is that hospice may not pay for interventions related to the hospice diagnosis that are intended to prolong life. As with artificial feeding, there are exceptions (but I can't think of one).
It wouldn't hurt to get a hospice eval. If they feel they can't sign the patient on while still vented, there's nothing stopping the primary doc from getting a palliative care consult (different from hospice) and following their recommendations for comfort care.
You didn't mention what setting this person is living in. If at home, they would miss out on the extra services hospice could provide ... but good comfort care is still possible through home health and good family education.
If in a facility, some hospice organizations provide palliative consults and inservice education for bedside staff as part of their public relations/marketing.
Some acute care hospitals also have their own palliative care services.
The vented person is "somewhat alert" ... can s/he communicate? Has anyone asked this person what s/he wants?
Last edit by heron on Sep 29, '12