How do I know if my loved one qualifies for Hospice?
When your doctor and the Hospice Medical Director have certified that if the disease continues it’s normal course your prognosis is no longer than six months, you are eligible for hospice. This applies to people of any age, with any type of illness.
Hospice diagnosis can include:
Where is Hospice Service?
Your loved one can receive hospice care in a nursing home, assisted living, independent living, personal care home, a family member’s home, and the patient’s home.
What does Hospice Service provide?
Hospice pays for all of the medications related to the hospice diagnosis (listed above) and equipment needed by the patient and family. It also pays for hospice physician, Registered Nurse, Hospice Aide, Social Services, Chaplain (Spiritual support) and Bereavement services for 13 months after your loved one has passed.
How do hospice and palliative care work?
Hospice care focuses on all aspects of a patient’s life and well-being: physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. There is no age restriction; anyone in the late stages of life is eligible for hospice services. While specific hospice services differ in the amenities they provide, most include a hospice interdisciplinary team, or IDT, that includes the patient’s physician, a hospice doctor, a case manager, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, a counselor, a dietician, therapist, pharmacologist, social workers, a minister, and various trained volunteers.
The hospice team develops a care plan to fit a patient’s individual need for pain management and symptom relief and provides all the necessary drugs and medical supplies, and equipment (DME). Typically, hospice care is provided at home and a family member acts as the primary caregiver, supervised by professional medical staff. Hospice IDT members (Social Worker, Chaplain, Registered Nurse) make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care and services. Certified home health aides provide bathing and other personal care services. Hospice staff remains on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If my loved one is in the hospital who do I ask about hospice?
Ask your friends who they have used or the company that has been recommended to them.
Ask to speak with the discharge planner/ social worker for your floor find out who they recommend and why. Most import is why they recommend a particular company. They will/must recommend more than one company as a Medicare mandate.
Ask to meet with a representative of the hospice they will usually be a marketing representative that has knowledge of the services their hospice provides.
Ask to meet the hospice nurse that will be caring for you or your loved one.
Ask your personal primary physician if he/she is a Medical Director for a hospice or can make a recommendation.
In the hospital, a Hospitalist physician may be providing care and are contracted by the hospital to treat and discharge as prudently as possible.
What questions should I ask the hospice representative?
Ask the hospice representative what is the usual patient load a nurse cares for?
Does the agency have an on-call system, and what is it?
How often will the Hospice Aide make visits?
How long will it take for the On Call Nurse to respond to a call, and do they make visits?
Can I come to the Interdisciplinary Team meeting?
How am I involved in the Plan of Care (POC)?
How often does the plan of care change?
How are the medications delivered?
What medications are covered by hospice?
Who pays for the rest of the medications?
How is hospice different than home health?
Hospice Home Health
|Able to leave your home||Home-bound|
|Hospice physician + PCP||PCP|
|Registered Nurse + Case Manager||Registered Nurse|
|Hospice Aide||Home-Health Aide|
|Social Worker||Must demonstrate a need|
|Can refuse to go to ER||Must go to ER|
How is hospice paid for?
Hospice is a benefit from Medicare and Medicaid. Most insurance companies have a hospice benefit but it usually has a capped dollar amount.
Medicare and Medicaid hospice pay for:
Medical equipment necessary (some examples are):