Hospice is the most under utilized and mis understood health care service available today. Hospice is designed to maintain or improving quality of life for someone whose illness or disease is deemed incurable. Each patient has an individualized care plan that is updated when needed to address the physical, emotional and spiritual pain that often accompanies terminal illness. Hospice care also offers practical support for the caregiver(s) during the illness and grief support after the death. Hospice is an added healthcare value that is available to the patient and the entire family when curative measures have been exhausted and life prognosis is six months or less.

Services typically consist of medication available to help control pain and other symptoms of the disease, medical equipment and supplies, some physical care, spiritual counseling with a pastor and social workers to help the families navigate the Hospice process. It is important for people to understand that individuals have had their conditions improve because of their Hospice affiliation and the service is no longer required so they are discharged. However, if the individual lives longer than 6 months, hospice care is still be available as long as the hospice medical director or doctor re-certifies the patient as terminally ill.  

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) will pay for Hospice care but certain conditions and criteria must be met. These are:

■ The primary care physician or the hospice doctor must certify the terminally illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less

■ Hospice is providing comfort or palliative care only, individuals seeking life saving treatments are not accepted 

■ Patients and their families chose the hospice care option instead of other Medicare-covered treatments for your terminal illness and related conditions. 

Medicare will cover hospice care, but the care provided you must be from a Medicare-approved hospice program. Once, Hospice is chosen the Medicare benefit will pay for everything the patient needs related to their terminal diagnosis. 

Please note: this coverage information is for original Medicare only and not for Medicare Advantage plans.

If you would like to know more about Hospice coverage please Contact us!