The End of Life We All Hope For

We feel the act of transitioning from this life is one to be lived beautifully and as best as possible. In fact, living those last few months, weeks, and days with the best life has to offer is all we could hope for—for ourselves and for our loved ones. And that is exactly what St. John’s does for our hospice patients.

Why Choose St. John’s?

St. John’s hospice team cares first for the patient, and, second, for the family. Our team has been noted for two distinguishing features of hospice care:

Top Patient Satisfaction Scores

Family members and friends of patients give us top satisfaction survey scores among Medicare-certified hospices in Yellowstone County. We consistently earn high scores. Here is what they said we did best:

  • Give timely help
  • Relieve pain and symptoms
  • Provide emotional and spiritual support
  • Communicate regularly with family
  • Train family to care for the patient

High Staff-to-Patient Ratios

We pride ourselves on our high staff-to-patient ratios. We adjust staffing as our patients’ needs, and the needs of their families, change. This is who makes up our interdisciplinary team of professionals:

  • Physicians and nurses: oversee and maintain patient care
  • CNAs: help with activities of daily living
  • Social workers: coordinate community resources
  • Chaplains: give spiritual support at the end of life
  • Bereavement coordinators: help patients and families deal with grief
  • Volunteers: offer companionship and support
  • Counselors and therapists: provide dietary advice and consultative therapies, as needed


When you or a loved one are in need of end-of-life care, choose the name you trust. The comfort that St. John’s United provides is second to none.


A Plan Provides Assurance

Our high-quality hospice care starts with a detailed plan, carefully tailored to meet the special needs of the patient and family.

Our services include:

  • Visits from members of our professional care team: physician, nurse, social worker, home health aide, volunteer or chaplain
  • Medication to ease pain and control symptoms
  • Medical equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers
  • Medical supplies such as bandages and catheters
  • Dietary counseling
  • Grief and loss counseling for the whole family
  • Other Medicare-covered services recommended to provide comfort

St. John's Hospice Care

Where We Serve

Choose Care in the Place You Call Home

We care for many of our hospice patients in their home or the home of a loved one. We also provide services in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities across Yellowstone County, including those on our campuses. Our high staff-to-patient ratio allows us to deliver exceptional care to patients in the place where they are most comfortable.

St. John's Hospice Care faq


What is hospice care?

Hospice is really a philosophy of care. It is our mission to treat the person, rather than the disease — and focus on quality of life. Hospice care helps people with life-limiting illness live their final months in comfort and dignity. Hospice surrounds the patient and family with a team of specialists who offer medical assistance combined with emotional and spiritual support.

What services does hospice provide?

  • Physicians (the patient’s own physician and the hospice physicians, who are specialist in controlling pain and other symptoms of serious illness) prescribe medications and other methods of pain and symptom control.
  • Nurses are experts at maintaining patient comfort. They assess the patient frequently and help family members provide the necessary support.
  • Certified nurse assistants provide personal care and help the patient and family with activities of daily living. They also provide companionship and valuable emotional support.
  • Social workers coordinate community resources and help the patient and family with non-medical concerns. They can help family members mend damaged relationships, plan for the future and ease other emotional difficulties.
  • Chaplains help patients and families cope with spiritual questions and concerns at the end of life, either directly or by coordinating services with the patient’s and family’s spiritual advisors.
  • Bereavement coordinators help patients and families deal with grief. Grief support services continue for at least one year after the death of a hospice patient.
  • Volunteers provide companionship and emotional support in various ways.
  • Therapists and counselors provide dietary advice, and physical, occupational or speech therapies as needed to support patient’s plan of care.

Hospice also provides medications, medical equipment and supplies necessary to promote comfort at home or in other hospice settings.

Who pays for hospice?

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies cover most hospice services. We will work with you to contact your insurance company to learn about individual coverage and any co-payments.

When is the right time to ask about hospice?

Sooner than later. End-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, but it is wise for family members to communicate their wishes long before it becomes a concern. These conversations can greatly reduce stress when it is time for hospice services, and help ensure that patients make an educated decision that includes input from family members and loved ones.

Is hospice just for cancer patients?

No, hospice is appropriate for any patient with a terminal illness and a prognosis of less than six months. Cancer, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and dementia are on the short list of ailments our patients have.

When is the best time to start hospice care?

Most patients and families who receive hospice care say they wish they had known about it earlier, and that they really needed the help and support much sooner than they received it. Experts agree that at least two to three months of care is optimal and can help increase the quality of life for the patient and the emotional support for family and loved ones. If you think that your family member or the person you care for could benefit from pain or symptom management, emotional and spiritual support – or any of the other services hospice can offer – ask you physician if the timing might be right.

What if I choose hospice than live for more than six months?

Hospice care does not automatically end after six months. Medicare and most other insurers will continue to pay for hospice care as long as a physician certifies that the patient continues to have a limited life expectancy.

How can hospice care help me and my family?

Many families have little or no experience caring for someone who is dying. The hospice team can help you and your family or loved ones in many ways. For example, the hospice team provides comfort care to relieve pain and symptoms, offers emotional and spiritual support, teaches specific care techniques, arranges for necessary equipment, and answers questions you or your family may have.

When is hospice care available to me?

The hospice team will talk to you and your family about how often you need regular visits and then schedule them. The hospice team itself does not provide 24-hour care but can help make arrangements if that is what you need. Hospice care includes access to a registered nurse who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency situations.

Do I have to live at St. John’s to have Home Health or Hospice care?

No. St. John’s serves all of Yellowstone County, so whether you live in your own home, an assisted living community or skilled nursing facility, we would be happy to serve you.

How can I learn more?

Visit the National Hospice Palliative Organization website.

Ask your doctor about the prognosis of your illness and discuss the timing of a referral for hospice.

Contact St. John’s United Home Health and Hospice for a consultation (406-655-5800).

When St. John’s United developed our new tagline, “So Much Life to Live,” we considered how this applies to every group we serve. Clearly, our young people and older adults enjoy years of a fine quality of life. But what about our hospice patients? We wondered, “Do they have so much life to live?”

We quickly realized that our patients live a better quality of life and often live longer because of hospice care. St. John’s United would like to thank you for your support. Please consider taking a few minutes to offer a review and spread the good word!