What Is Hospice?

What exactly is hospice?

The term hospice is pretty common word that most people have heard before. Do you truly understand what hospice care is? We are here to shed light on this term so that you can better understand what hospice services really are.

Hospice Care is a special type of health care designed to provide comfort, care and support to patients and their loved ones when a life-limiting illness is no longer responding to curative treatments. Hospice is about a plan of care that promotes, comfort, compassion and support for the patient and their loved ones.

People of all different ages use hospice care, there is no age requirement to receive services.

In most cases, hospice services are covered by Medicare A, Medicaid, or private insurance.  Since the Senior Planning Group focuses on aging adults, we are going to put our focus on the elderly.

Medicare Part A

  • The Medicare A benefit provides comprehensive coverage for hospice care.
  • Medicare A beneficiaries who have coverage under Medicare A and meet the requirements of hospice eligibility can access the Medicare A hospice benefit.
  • Medicare A reimburses all hospice providers at a daily rate.

Medicaid Hospice Benefit

  • Medicaid is a State funded program that provides medical coverage for persons who have limited financial means and who meet the eligibility requirements of hospice care.

Medicare HMO

  • If an individual is enrolled in a Medicare A HMO, the Medicare A HMO reverts back to regular Medicare A benefits when hospice eligible.

Private Health Insurance

  • Your hospice provider will verify and attempt to negotiate coverage with private and commercial health insurance providers.
  • As with any health care insurance plan, deductibles and co-payments may be applied to the hospice benefit.
  • If your hospice provider is not able to negotiate coverage with your insurance provider, with your permission, they can refer you to a hospice provider within your insurance providers network.

Why is hospice so important?

We believe hospice is important because it provides an option for expert pain management and symptom control in your home (or a facility) when working towards a cure is no longer an option. Most of our clients pass away with hospice services in place– that can be in their own home or the assisted living facility they were living in. Hospice keeps the family involved, gives you physician care in your home, gives you private nurses and certified home health aides, and 24-hour on-call support from the hospice RN.

Throughout this time, family will need emotional and spiritual support, and the hospice staff is there to make sure you get all the support you need.

Hospice care isn’t just for those who are actively dying. There are several levels of hospice support: routine home care, general in-patient care, respite care, and continuous home care. Your hospice provider will help you determine in what capacity your family needs support. Life is precious from beginning to the natural end and it’s good to know that professionals are there to help you along this journey to the end. Hospice is a wonderful thing that families should all take advantage of.

Article written by Badger Hospice of Wisconsin

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