Covering the Costs of Hospice Care
Choosing hospice care is a personal and emotional decision that patients and families make with the help of their health care providers. Among their concerns are questions about how hospice will be paid for and how it will affect the family financially.
Hospice Care Covered Under Medicare
Hospice may be paid by a third party payer such as Medicare, Medicaid Title 19, private insurance, or other reimbursement, such as the Community Options Program. Hospice may be paid by private pay, in which the patient is responsible for payment of all fees.
Hospice care is a covered benefit under Medicare, the federal insurance program available to people age 65 or under Medicare disability. To qualify for hospice under Medicare, certain diagnoses and criteria must be met. Patients with a life expectancy of six months or less are eligible for hospice under Medicare. (Medicaid and most private insurers follow the Medicare guidelines.) The staff at The Kathy Hospice will be able to work with patients to help them complete the paperwork needed to elect the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
Are all the costs covered by Medicare?
Under Medicare, the kinds of services covered by hospice include nursing care, medical social services, physicians' services, counseling services, home health aide, medical supplies, including drugs and biologicals, physical and occupational therapy. These services are provided for pain management, symptom control, psychological support as well as spiritual care to those patients and their families living with a terminal illness. However, Medicare does not cover hospice room and board so additional financial support is provided by St. Joseph's Community Foundation from contributions directed toward the Kathy Hospice.
Also, many private insurance policies have hospice benefits that could cover services at The Kathy Hospice. We with be working with these providers to obtain coverage for hospice care.
Different Kinds of Hospice Care
Hospice is not a building, but refers to a special kind of care for the terminally ill and their families. There are four different types of care under hospice:
- Home hospice care: care for the patient in the person's own home, typically provided by home hospice agencies.
- Respite care: short-term care to relieve family members who are caring for the patient at home.
- Continuous residential care: end-of-life care in a home-like setting.
- Short-term inpatient care: acute care that includes higher level nursing services to manage acute medical symptoms, including procedures needed to control pain or manage symptoms.
Care Provided at The Kathy Hospice
The Kathy Hospice is designed and staffed to provide respite care, continuous residential care, and short-term inpatient care, which is a higher level of skilled 24-hour nursing care. The design allows patients to access their full level of hospice benefits under Medicare.
As a patient's needs change, his or her level of hospice services may change. For example, the person being cared for with home hospice may come to The Kathy Hospice for a short time to give loved ones some needed time away. Or the person may come to The Kathy Hospice for short-term care to bring pain under control.
For more information on The Kathy Hospice, call 262-836-7130.
The Kathy Hospice
3232 Pleasant Valley Road
West Bend, WI 53095