End of life decisions come at us quickly sometimes, and we are left with feelings of frustration and fear. When a loved one faces the struggle for care during the end stages of life, knowing where to turn to and how to cope makes the decisions easier.
Hospice has grown since its onset in this country in 1974. If it is raising health care costs or the growing influx of terminal illnesses that attributes to the use of hospice care, the facts are undeniable; more and more people are using hospice as a way to care for loved ones at the end of life. Perhaps it is the complexity of life in the 21st century that causes us to reach out for assistance. Whatever the reason, it is wise to get the facts before you need the service.
What is hospice?
Hospice is palliative care. In other words, its goal is to alleviate pain and symptoms without eliminating the cause. This service can be given in-home or a respite care center or skilled nursing facility. It can be through a non-profit or for profit agency.
Who is using hospice care?
The majority of patients suffer from cancer, though any cause related to a life expectancy of less than 6 months, qualifies a patent for care.
Seventy-two percent of patients are over 65 years of age
Over 76% of hospice care is given in the home.
What services are offered?
The primary care physician of the patient must be involved in the decision to place a patient on hospice. Once this is enacted, hospice provides; nurses, therapists, counselors, aides and other volunteers, to meet all of the needs of the patient.
Medical equipment and medications are also provided.
The hospice service is available 24 hours a day for support, questions hospice near los angeles and emergencies.
Financial assistance in billing the proper carrier. Whether Medicare or private insurance, the hospice agency will make direct billings on behalf of the patient.
What can you expect in costs?
Routine home care can average around $126.00 per day while intensive home care can be as much as $738.00 per day. Intensive care would include at least 8 hours of skilled nursing services.
In-patient respite care averages around $130.00 per day. A skilled nursing facility may charge up to $563.00 per day.
In most cases, Medicare will pick up the full costs of hospice care. Insurance coverage depends upon the type of policy the patient has. The hospice agency can help the family sort through the details of the coverage.