What services does Hospice provide?
Hospice includes the services of an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals:
Physicians (the patient’s own physician and Hospice physicians, who are specialists in controlling pain and other symptoms of a terminal illness) prescribe medications and other methods of pain and symptom control.
Nurses who are trained in maintaining patient comfort, assess the patient frequently to provide care and help the family members by providing the necessary support.
Certified Nursing Assistants/Home Health Aides provide personal care and help the patient and family with activities of daily living. They also provide valuable emotional support.
Social Workers coordinate community resources and help patients and families with non-medical concerns. They can help family members with relationship issues, plan for the future and ease other emotional difficulties.
Chaplain and Pastoral Care Counselors help patients and families cope with spiritual questions and concerns at the end of life, either directly, or by coordinating services with the patient and family advisors.
Bereavement Facilitators help patients and families deal with grief issues. Bereavement support services continue for at least one year after the death of a Hospice patient.
Volunteers provide companionship and emotional support and offer help in a myriad of ways.
Hospice also provides related medications, medical equipment and supplies necessary to promote comfort at home or in other Hospice settings.
PAYING FOR HOSPICE
Who pays for Hospice care?
Hospice is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, with few out-of-pocket costs to the patient.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit (or Medicaid) covers costs related to the terminal illness, including the services of the Hospice team, medications, medical equipment and supplies. Medicare reimburses for different levels of Hospice care recognizing that patients sometimes require special attention.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit (or Medicaid) covers medications needed to treat the patient’s terminal illness, which are related to pain control and symptom management. Hospice Care of South Florida will order the medications for you and arrange delivery or you may choose to get them at the Hospice pharmacy. Medications for a condition not related to the terminal illness, allergy medications, for example, are not covered by the Hospice Benefit.
The physician and nurse will work with the family to determine which medical supplies and equipment the patient needs. Hospice Care of South Florida will order the equipment and supplies needed and have it delivered to the home.
LEVELS OF HOSPICE CARE
What are the different levels of Hospice Care?
Most Hospice patients live at home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home. Routine Hospice care covers the services of the interdisciplinary team, medications and equipment related to the terminal illness. Other categories of care are available when needed.
Sometimes pain, or the symptoms of the terminal illness, cannot be controlled at home and the patient is taken to a hospital or other inpatient care center. When these symptoms are under control, the patient returns home.
Many patients have their own caregivers, often family members. Occasionally it may be necessary to provide care givers with respite time.
Sometimes a patient has a medical crisis that needs continuous care. When this happens, we can arrange for inpatient care or Hospice Care of South Florida personnel to provide continuous care in the home. When the crisis is over, the patient is returned to routine home care.