Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life for a person with a severe illness approaching the end of life. At some point, a person’s serious illness may become not curable, or a patient may choose not to undergo specific treatments. This is when hospice steps in. They focus on reducing pain and suffering and providing comfort while the body shuts down.
A doctor must make a referral for hospice care. Keep in mind a doctor looks at one or all of the person’s medical conditions before making such a referral. Once a doctor makes a referral, a patient’s primary care doctor switches to the hospice doctor. Generally speaking, life-saving medications stop, and services to help improve one’s life also end. Medicare covers 100%, assuming the person has Medicare Part A. Most private insurance plans mimic the federal Medicare benefit program and cover 100% of the costs. Your hospice provider will be able to go over specifics with you.
Hospice care is on a case-by-case basis. A doctor chooses care based on a person’s medical condition and hospice guidelines.
Though hospice care deals with end-of-life measures, we do not know when a person will die. Therefore, every person’s situation is different. Some people die within days of going home with the hospice team. Meanwhile, others go in and out of this type of care based on their medical situation. Doctors will re-evaluate hospice care every six months.
Are there choices when it comes to hospice service?
Yes, there are choices. It can be a very emotional time in people’s lives to say goodbye to a loved one. Some people have a great experience with a hospice provider, and others do not. If unsatisfied, we want you to understand that you have choices. You can switch to another provider. You can get a discharge date from your current provider and elect a new hospice provider. It may be the end of life, but you always have choices.
STAGES is here to let you know what Support is available.