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Hospice Care FAQs

These Frequently Asked Questions cover a wide range of questions related to hospice care at home and may serve as a starting point for someone considering hospice care at home for a loved one.
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When to call hospice for elderly

Choosing when to contact hospice for a loved one is a critical and often emotionally difficult choice. When a person is facing a terminal disease and curative treatment are no longer effective or desired, hospice care is usually considered.

Hospice care aims to improve the quality of life for patients and their loved ones throughout the final phase of an illness by focusing on comfort-focused care, dignity, and support.

The choice of home hospice care is a very personal decision that requires discussion and mutual agreement with family members, healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care, and the elderly patient’s will.

Sincere Hospice Team is here to offer free consultation to help you assess if hospice care at home is right for you. Call us at (657) 255-8657.

What to expect from hospice at home 

Here is what one can expect from hospice home care:

  • 24-hour supportive care
  • nursing care assessment and monitoring
  • grief and bereavement support
  • medical equipment and supplies needed in hospice care
  • medication for symptom management
  • emotional and spiritual counseling services for the patient and family
  • short-term inpatient care for pain and symptom control
  • non emergency medical transport to help in care transition from hospital to home

Patients and their families can expect a warm and supportive environment that is centered around enhancing the quality of life throughout the final phase of a terminally-ill elder patient when they choose hospice at home. The goal is to honor the patient’s decisions and preferences while also ensuring their comfort and dignity.

Sincere Hospice & Palliative Care is serving communities in LA County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County with personalized hospice care at home services.

Who pays for hospice care at home

Hospice care at home is generally funded by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, commercial insurance plans, and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits for eligible veterans. Some hospice services offer financial aid and sliding fee schedules for Individuals without insurance but considering hospice care at home.

The specific payment source for hospice care is determined by factors such as eligibility, insurance coverage, and individual circumstances.

Sincere Hospice is a Medicare-covered hospice care provider that also accepts almost all private insurance to make sure that patients needing hospice care get to receive care.

Who are eligible for Medicare Hospice Benefits

You are eligible for Mediacre Hospice Benefits if you meet the following criteria:

  1. Medicare Enrollment:

    • The individual must be eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance). Most people qualify for Medicare when they turn 65.
  2. Certification of Terminal Illness:

    • A physician and or a hospice doctor must certify that the individual has a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less if the illness runs its normal course.
  3. Forgo Curative Treatment with Hospice Care:

    • The patient and their family’s choose hospice care instead of curative treatment for the terminal illness. This choice is typically documented through a signed statement.
  4. Hospice Medicare-Approved:

    • The chosen hospice provider must be Medicare-approved.
  5. Understanding of Hospice Care:

    • The individual and their family must understand that, by choosing hospice care, they are forgoing curative treatments for terminal illness. Instead, the care will shift to providing palliative care that focuses on providing overall comfort but not curative treatment.

It’s important to note that the certification of a terminal illness is an ongoing process, and hospice care can be extended beyond the initial six-month prognosis if the individual continues to meet the eligibility criteria.

Also, those who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) are still eligible for hospice benefits; however, in order to fully understand the terms and restrictions, they need to speak with both their plan and the hospice provider.

How long can you get Hospice care

Here’s the Medicare guidelines on care duration or how long can you stay in hospice care:

  1. Life Expectancy Requirement:

    • Hospice care is provided to individuals with a life expectancy of 6 months or less if the illness follows its normal progression. This is determined by the primary-care physician or hospice medical doctor.
  2. Recertification for Extended Care:

    • If an individual lives longer than 6 months, they can still receive hospice care. However, your hospice provider medical doctors must recertify that the individual remains terminally ill.
  3. Benefit Periods:

    • Hospice care is provided in benefit periods. The initial period is two 90-day benefit periods, followed by an unlimited number of 60-day benefit periods.
  4. Start and End of Benefit Periods:

    • A benefit period starts on the day the individual begins to receive hospice care and ends when the 90-day or 60-day period.
  5. Certification at the Start:

    • At the beginning of the first 90-day benefit period, both the hospice doctor and the patient’s primary-care physician (if applicable) must certify that the individual is terminally ill with a life expectancy of 6 months or less.

In summary, hospice care is initially provided in two 90-day benefit periods, and after that, it continues in 60-day benefit periods as long as the individual remains terminally ill. 

Recertification by the hospice medical director or another hospice doctor is required for each subsequent period, ensuring that the individual’s eligibility for hospice care is regularly assessed based on their health condition.

What if my condition improves with hospice care?

If your condition improves while receiving hospice care, you have the option of discontinuing hospice care and pursuing intensive treatments.

Hospice is intended for people with terminal illnesses, but changes in your state of health might require a reevaluation of your care plan.

Any improvements should be communicated to your healthcare provider so that other options can be explored depending on your current state of health and treatment goals.

 

Trusted Partner for Hospice Care at Home

Experience serenity and comfort in your own home with our dependable hospice care services, which are accessible in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County. Our committed staff provides individualized and compassionate care for you and your loved ones.

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