Admission to The Kathy Hospice
Eligibility for Hospice Care
Who is eligible for hospice?
When a doctor, with the agreement of the hospice medical director, certifies that a patient is terminally ill and has a life expectancy of less than six months, that patient is eligible for hospice care under Medicare benefits.
Who can be admitted to The Kathy Hospice?
The Kathy Hospice is a residential facility for individuals with a terminal illness. Patients receive supportive and palliative care in a quiet, homelike setting. The primary goal of the hospice is not to prolong life or cure disease, but to provide comfort to the patient through continuous pain and symptom management.
The patient must have a diagnosis of a terminal illness, must meet eligibility requirements of The Kathy Hospice, and must agree to receive palliative measures provided by hospice staff.
Is the hospice open to every eligible patient?
Anyone who meets the requirements of hospice is eligible for hospice. No one will be denied admission to The Kathy Hospice because of their race, sex, religion, national origin or ancestry.
The Kathy Hospice will accept only patients who can appropriately be cared for under the scope of services of the hospice.
Admission to The Kathy Hospice
How will a patient be admitted?
Initially, the patient, a family member, friend, or caregiver may refer the patient to The Kathy Hospice, with the permission of the individual's attending physician. The person being referred must be under the care of a physician. If not, the person will be referred to the hospice medical director.
Following a referral, the hospice director, social worker, or representative will conduct an evaluation visit with the patient. They will explain the hospice program and its philosophy and will determine if the person meets requirements for admission.
After the patient's eligibility is confirmed, the patient's physician (or the hospice medical director) and the patient's family are notified. The admitting nurse will confirm admission orders with the physician and notify the admitting office and pharmacy at St. Joseph's Hospital. The nurse will also review the patient's records, medications, and other documents that support the hospice diagnosis. Working with the family, hospital or other transferring facility, hospice staff will then confirm the patient's transportation to The Kathy Hospice.
When the patient arrives at The Kathy Hospice, he or she will receive an assessment by the nurse. The nurse will contact the attending physician for additional orders, complete the nursing assessment, admission agreement, and other documents, develop the interdisciplinary plan of care, and provide educational information for the family. The social worker will contribute to the care plan and complete the psychosocial portion of the admission process.
What if all eight patient rooms are full?
If there is a waiting list, The Kathy Hospice will assess each patient based on his or her diagnosis and will accept first those who are most in need. Some patients may want, and be able, to receive hospice care in their own home as long as possible before coming to a residential hospice. Because each family looks at death and dying differently, their individual wishes will be considered when applying for hospice.
Payment for Hospice Care
Who pays for hospice care?
Hospice may be paid by a third party payer: Medicare, Medicaid Title 19, private insurance, or other reimbursement, such as the Community Options Program. Hospice may also be paid by private pay.
The hospice patient is asked to sign a number of documents, including the following. If the patient is unable to sign the documents, his or her authorized representative - a relative or power of attorney - may sign the documents.
- The Fee Agreement for Hospice Services lists services provided and the financial responsibility for the charges. The agreement confirms the patient's understanding that:
- Medicare and Medicaid are accepted as full payment, with the exclusion of room and board charges.
- Private insurance coverage is determined by the insurer.
- Private pay patients are responsible for all fees.
- The Notice of Election of Medicare Benefit indicates that specific benefits are offered and specific rights are waived under the Medicare Hospice Benefit. To receive full benefits under Medicare, the patient must elect to receive hospice care under the Medicare Hospice Benefit and waive standard Medicare coverage. The patient indicates an understanding that hospice care is comfort oriented and does not include treatment or the use of life-saving measures. A similar document is available for Medicaid benefits.
- The admission agreement gives the patient's consent to be admitted to The Kathy Hospice, with the understanding that hospice services will be provided under the supervision of the patient's physician and a plan of care established by an interdisciplinary team of hospice staff. The patient also provides access to his or her health care records and acknowledges receipt of information about rights and responsibilities.
Learn more about covering the cost of hospice care.
Is there assistance for uncovered expenses?
The St. Joseph's Community Foundation will be working to assist patients unable to pay the non-covered hospice expenses.