Home Health Care News

The Truth About Hospice Care – Myth No. 4:

Hospice Care is more expensive

Studies have shown hospice care to be less expensive than conventional care during the last six months of life. Less high-cost technology is used, and family, friends and volunteers provide an estimated 90 percent of the day-to-day patient care at home.

Additionally, patients eligible for Medicare of Medicaid generally pay fewer out-of-pocket expenses related to their hospice care. Many private insurers also cover some or most hospice-related expenses.

According to Medicare.gov, people who meet all of the following conditions are eligible to receive hospice care benefits if:

  • The person is eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance),
  • The person’s doctor certifies he or she is terminally ill and expected to have six months or less to live (recertification is required every six months),
  • The person accepts palliative care (for comfort) instead of care to cure his or her illness,
  • The person signs a statement choosing hospice care instead of routine Medicare-covered benefits for his or her illness.

Medicare Hospice Benefit

According to Medicare.gov, hospice benefits can include:

  • Doctor services
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
  • Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
  • Drugs for symptom control or pain relief (may need to pay a small co-payment)
  • Hospice aide and homemaker services
  • Physical and occupational therapy; speech-language pathology services*
  • Social worker services
  • Dietary counseling
  • Grief and loss counseling for the hospice patient and their family
  • Short-term inpatient care (for pain and symptom management)
  • Short-term respite care
  • Any other Medicare-covered services needed to manage pain and other symptoms related to the terminal illness, as recommended by the hospice team

*Costs of these services would fall under a per diem reimbursement. A hospice program may agree to a physical therapy or speech consult only, not a series or therapy sessions.

What Medicare Does Not Cover When Hospice Care Is Chosen:

  • Treatment intended to cure a terminal illness.
  • Prescription drugs to cure illness (rather than for symptom control or pain relief)
  • Care from any hospice provider that wasn’t set up by the hospice medical team.
  • Room and board. Medicare doesn’t cover room and board if hospice care is proved in the home, in a nursing home, or in a hospice inpatient facility.)
  • Care in an emergency room, inpatient facility care, or ambulance transportation, unless it’s either arranged by a hospice team or is unrelated to a terminal illness.
Home Instead Senior Care is an in-home health care provider located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina serving individuals and families in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area for over 11 years! We offer assistance to those in need for companionship, home help, personal care, short-term recovery, Alzheimer’s care, Respite care and many other services to make your life easier.

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Murrells Inlet, SC 29576