How Does Hospice Work?
How does hospice work? Assuming you have already made the choice to move to hospice, half the battle is already addressed. If you have not made this choice or not sure if hospice is the right fit for you, we encourage you to take our quick quiz to help you decide. Our quick quiz will give you a good idea if hospice care or palliative care is right for you.
Unfortunately, this is when reality sinks in for the family. Chances are, you already know what needs to be done. However, getting started can seem overwhelming at a times and you just need a little bit of help to make things simpler. No worries, we have you covered. Nevada Hospice Care has supplied a few tools for patients and families to work with and use on our site. We encourage everyone to download these helpful lists, hints, tips, and suggestions to make this transition go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
Figuring out how to pay for hospice can be daunting. Luckily, Medicare will cover hospice care under Part A. Normally, most beneficiaries of Medicare will not need to pay any out of pocket expenses. Likewise, a lot of states have financial reimbursement by Medicaid. Those of us who do not have either we can turn to our private insurance to check the coverage of hospice care. Still, those with none of these options available to them might consider looking for non-profit organizations that raise money to help families in need by offering financial relief during a loved one’s final stage of life. Nevada Hospice Care is in the process of making a list for our customers’ convenience and setting up accounts with these organizations to help those in need.
Choosing Your Power Of Attorney & Advanced Directives:
Choosing someone to look over you or a loved one when the patient is no longer able to make decisions is an essential and often overlooked step. It is always difficult to speak of such things, yet these are conversations that must happen if you are to have a smooth transition. Only you or your loved one know what type of care they want and how you expect to be treated at the end of life stage. These representatives will be making decisions for the patient when the patient is no longer to do so for oneself. Why is this important? If a patient is suffering from dementia or other ailments that will prevent them from having full control of faculties, this person will take charge in that absence. Choosing someone you trust and have sat down with and discussed in detail and having out a written plan for different type scenarios is ideal.
Drafting a living will or advanced directives is also essential to this step of the process. Families are more inclined to follow these wishes if you have them drawn out and in writing vs. just having a verbal agreement.
The last part to consider is critical legal documents such as paperwork organized and submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, or your insurance company. Making sure your house is in order. Is everything set up for your absence? Are there arrangements that need to be done or made before you get too sick? Are your loved ones going to be ok without you, and is there anything you can do in your final days to ensure this? These are questions to consider, do not wait till its to late, and your energy is no longer there; nothing benefits from hesitation. By planning ahead, it will help you stay organized and prepare for upcoming events. The more you have prepared, the easier this transition will be for you and your family.
You Have Everthing In Line & Chosen Nevada Hospice Care:
So, the hard work is done, now what? Now that you have done your homework on “how does hospice work” and taken the previous steps let us make it easy for you. Nevada Hospice Care is going to appoint a properly trained team to help you deal with your illness. The group consists of:
- Doctors for pain and symptom control
- A nurse to supervise the plan of care, provide adequate attention while training loved ones and patients on appropriate caregiving.
- An aide for patients’ personal assistance
- A chaplain to give pastoral care
- Social worker to handle mental, financial, and social difficulties
Our team will sit with you and answer questions and concerns before huddling up and making a group care plan. After the group care plan is assimulated, the Nevada Hospice Care team will meet with you to discuss all of your treatment plans and options that may be available to you concerning your illness.
Keep in mind, if you have any questions at all we encourage you to contact Nevada Hospice Care so we may assist you.
How Long Can I Get Hospice Care?
Hospice care is for patients with a life expectancy of 6 months or less (if the illness runs its normal course). If you live longer than 6 months, you can still get hospice care, as long as the hospice medical director or other hospice doctor recertifies that you’re terminally ill.
- You can get hospice care for two 90-day benefit periods, followed by an unlimited number of 60-day benefit periods.
- You have the right to change your hospice care provider once during each benefit period.
- At the start of the first 90-day benefit period, your hospice care doctor and your regular doctor (if you have one) must certify that you’re terminally ill (with a life expectancy of 6 months or less). At the start of each benefit period after the first 90-day period, the hospice medical director or other hospice doctor must re-certify that you’re terminally ill, so you can continue to get hospice care.
Only your hospice doctor and your regular doctor (if you have one) can certify that you’re terminally ill and have 6 months or less to live.
Can I Stop Hospice Care?
If your health improves or your illness goes into remission, you may no longer need hospice care.
You always have the right to stop hospice care at any time. If you choose to stop hospice care, you’ll be asked to sign a form that includes the date your care will end.
You shouldn’t be asked to sign any forms about stopping your hospice care at the time you start hospice. Stopping hospice care is a choice only you can make, and you shouldn’t sign or date any forms until the actual date that you want your hospice care to stop.
If you were in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you started hospice, you can stay in that plan by continuing to pay your plan’s premiums. If you stop your hospice care, you’re still a member of your plan and can get Medicare coverage from your plan after you stop hospice care. If you weren’t in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you started hospice care, and you decide to stop hospice care, you can continue in Original Medicare.
If you’re eligible, you can go back to hospice care at any time.
You and your family members are the most important part of a team that may also include:
- Nurses or nurse practitioners
- Social workers
- Physical and occupational therapists
- Speech-language pathologists
- Hospice aides
A hospice doctor is part of your medical team. You can also choose to include your regular doctor or a nurse practitioner on your medical team as the attending medical professional who supervises your care.
In addition, a hospice nurse and doctor are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to give you and your family support and care when you need it.
If you need more information about how hospice works, please never hesitate to call Nevada Hospice Care: