Got Questions? We Have Answers.
Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes.
It is time to consider hospice care when a patient exhibits one or more of the following:
- Patient/family chooses comfort care, as curative treatment is no longer an option.
- Loss of function/physical decline
- Increase in hospitalizations
- Dependence in most activities of daily living
- Multiple co-morbidities
- Increase in ER visits
- Weight loss
- End stage, specific diseases with specific indicators such as: Cancer, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Alzheimers’s & Dementia, Pulmonary disease, etc.
Essentially you did…Hospice is a Medicare Benefit that You are entitled to, literally made by your very own contributions to Social Security. It is also paid by most private insurance plans.
Beneficiaries who elect the Medicare Hospice Benefit due to clinical criteria being met, and agree to forego curative treatment for care & comfort of t heir terminal condition, are entitled to not have any out of pocket costs or deductibles for you or your family.
For conditions unrelated to their terminal diagnosis, Medicare and other payor sources continue to cover items and services outside of Hospice. An example would be a patient who has failed and a broken bone, most definitely qualify to seek treatment by their physician and he/she would be reimbursed for your care.
It is always the decision of the patient to enter a hospice program. The patient’s family and doctors are involved in the decision, but ultimately the choice rests with the patient.
Yes. Hospice team members are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to patient needs. If there is a medical crisis, hospice nurses can provide continuous care until the symptoms subside.
Hospice is a full, comprehensive system of care, which uses an interdisciplinary team approach. Visits by the professional staff (which may include RN, MSW, OT, PT) are made on an “as needed” basis. This conceivably could be as many as 1-3 nursing visits a day, 7 days a week, for as long as the patient lives! The hospice social worker visits are on an “as needed” basis with no restrictions as to frequency or duration. Home aide services are available, as are the chaplain visits and volunteer support. And of course, bereavement support is available for more than a year following a patient’s death. Hospice is the only health care system mandated by law to provide volunteers and bereavement services in addition to professional services.
In the care of Medicare/Medicaid patients, hospice is also required to provide all medications, supplies and durable medical equipment necessary to alleviate symptoms of the terminal illness.
Yes. If you don’t have insurance coverage, the hospice admissions staff will work with you to determine financial responsibility and self-payments and to find out if you are eligible for other benefits that could help pay for services.
Please call our office at 956.790.9160 to discuss individual cases.
In most instances, a hospice evaluation is appropriate and will be provided to help the patient and family, explore appropriate options for care. We believe all patients/families who are facing a life threatening illness have the right to be informed about their options for care; both current and in the future.