Finding out news that a loved one has a life-limiting illness is difficult to hear. Once family members begin to make the emotional adjustment to dealing with an end-of-life stage, they may carry additional worry over finances. Family members will soon learn that hospice care is not only comprehensive in nature, it’s also highly affordable. Medicare is the most common funder of hospice care and the hospice benefit provides all that the patient needs, without having to resort to supplementing it with other services.
Fear is a normal reaction for those who are dealing with end-of-life issues. Hospice programs usually include counseling and bereavement counseling to help individuals and family members better understand the source of their fears. People may be afraid of pain or have fear of abandonment. They may even experience fear of death itself. Counselors and social workers can be very helpful in helping family members say their goodbyes, assist patients in finishing important tasks, heal broken family relationships, distribute belongings, and come to spiritual terms with death. All of these things help family members view death as a natural life process.
Medicare covers all hospice services, including services provided by physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, and more. It also covers medical equipment and supplies. Original Medicare covers all services for hospice that are covered under the regular plan, even for patients who were previously in a Medicare Advantage Plan or another Medicare health plan. If the patient’s Medicare plan covers extra services, such as vision and dental coverage, the hospice plan will continue to cover those extra services as long as the patient pays the premium. Patients that choose to leave the hospice benefit, can restart the Medicare Advantage Plan on the first of the following month.
The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care provides all types of hospice care. They specialize in specific illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disease, renal disease, neurological illnesses, Lou Gehrig’s disease, AIDS, cirrhosis, leukemia, and dementia. In addition to provide hospice and palliative care, hospice workers provide a valuable service to family members by helping them recognize and better understand signs of serious illnesses such as refusing to eat, weight loss, extreme pain, and other signs of declining health.
Amedisys spends time with individuals and their families to understand the specific needs of each of their patients, as well as their families. Interdisciplinary teams set the goal of meeting the medical, social, psychological, and spiritual services to help the individual and family through the end-of-life stage with dignity and compassion.
Interim Health Care provides care at home including physical therapy, skilled nursing, home infusion, and other services. All of their healthcare professionals are trained to work directly with the patient, other family members, and other healthcare professionals to meet the needs of the ill individual, as well as the family members.
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