Let us share with you everything you need to know about hospice care like the right time to avail, who provides hospice care, and more.
HOW AND WHEN DOES HOSPICE START?
Anybody can ask about hospice services. You or your loved one may call a hospice provider and ask for assistance. The hospice staff will then contact your doctor to decide whether a referral to hospice is suitable. Another approach to ask about hospice is to converse with your doctor, and he or she can make a referral to hospice.
Hospice can start when a ‘referral’ is made by the individual’s specialist. The hospice staff will then contact the individual to set up a meeting to review the services the hospice provider will offer and sign the essential documents for care to start. More often than not, it is prepared to start within a day or two of a referral. Nonetheless, in most circumstances, care administration may start sooner.
HOSPICE CARE IS NOT LIMITED TO SIX MONTHS OF SERVICE.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit requires that a terminally ill patient have a prognosis of six months or less: There is not a six-month limit to hospice care services.
Hospice eligibility requirements should not be confused with length of service.
A patient in the final phase of life may receive hospice care for as long as necessary when a physician certifies that he or she continues to meet eligibility requirements.
Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, two 90-day periods of care (a total of six months) are followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods.
PAYING FOR HOSPICE
Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most private back up plans. If you are not covered under Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance agency, the hospice provider will work with the individual and his/her family to guarantee that required services can be given.
WHAT DOES MEDICARE COVER?
Medicare covers these hospice services and pays nearly all of their costs:
- Doctor services
- Nursing care
- Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
- Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
- Drugs for symptom control and pain relief
- Short-term care in the hospital, including respite and inpatient for pain and symptom management
- Home health aide and homemaker services
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Social work services
- Dietary counseling
- Dietary counseling
- Grief support to help you and your family
WHY ARE HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
Hospice volunteers provide essential support to patients and their loved ones including running errands, preparing meals, assistance with home activities, emotional and spiritual support and companionship as each family deals with grief and bereavement. If you would like more information about being a hospice volunteer, please contact our hospice volunteer coordinator at 918-829-1721.