What Hospice Services Exist, And How Do I Pay For Them?
The saddest realization of your life has come to you; you have a loved one with a terminal illness, and you must decide on the possibility of hospice care. This is probably the time to discover, if youre up to it, what services are available, and how you arrange for hospice services payment.
Hospice services create an entire home health system in the terminally ill patients residence, and they are designed to help him / her, and his / her family members, along the path to the closing stages of the patients life and beyond. Because most hospice services are provided only for the terminally ill, usually those with six months or less left to them, they are not concerned at all with treatments or cures; that stage has long been passed, and quality of life is the sole remaining focus of the hospice team.
That team includes the primary care physician and the hospice medical director, both individuals who are trained in providing the best end - of - life services and arrangements for both before and after the patients terminating experience. Because they are looking to the life quality of the patient, most of the specialists under these doctors guidance will be designated to assist in some aspect of life that needs assistance and help.
Some of the individuals who work in dedicated hospices and home hospice plans include:
Nurses: these individuals provide immediate care, address symptoms and provide support for the loved ones of the patient. They will be the most regular and frequent visitors to the home hospice, along with the doctoral team.
Home health aides: these are individuals trained to provide routine care, such as bathing, feeding and dressing the patient. They will be physically strong, and have the stamina and training to endure long hours, just as the nurses do.
Trained volunteers: these individuals, while not medical professionals, do provide extra help, comfort and company to the patient, as well as relief and assistance to the medical staff.
Social workers: these professionals provide support and counseling. They also assist with the more mundane end - of - life duties that family members may not be up to doing, such as financial plans and insurance concerns.
Spiritual workers: these counselors may include clergy such as minister, lay priests, rabbis and / or spiritual guidance professionals, and they are available to give guidance and spiritual care to the patient and all the family members.
Bereavement counselors: these offer guidance, counseling and support before and after the death of a loved one in the hospices care (most plans designated that they will be available up to a year after the patients death).
Just reviewing the list, you may be more than a little concerned: how in the world do we pay for all these professionals?
The most common form of medical hospice coverage that finances the hospice system in the home is obtained through Medicare and Medicaid, both of which have plans that offer services based on the patients and the familys need rather than their ability to pay; most hospice plans have a number of payment options available. In addition, if the patient is a veteran, the Department of Veterans Affairs may be able to pay all or most of the hospice charges, and some private medical insurance companies offer hospice payment packages as well.
You can consult any medical professional to find out about hospice care and how to pay for it; in addition, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization offers an online directory of providers and services. You should choose a program that is Medicare-certified, as well as licensed and certified by your state; you should also inquire about their techniques and treatments for routine pain management, after hours services and the settings, home or medical facility, where the hospice will receive a patient.
Careful planning will eliminate any worries about hospice services payment.