End-of-life care in Corpus Christi is available as a hospice service in patients' homes, assisted living communities, or skilled nursing facilities. The hospice staff provides pain and symptom management for patients suffering from end-stage conditions or terminal diseases and are given a prognosis of less than six to twelve months.
These conditions can include congestive heart failure, stroke, end-stage dementia, or the complications from AIDS. Terminal diseases in the latter stages that may require hospice include Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, kidney disease, liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), multiple sclerosis (MS), or Parkinson’s disease.
The hospice staff will coordinate care with the health care team to ensure the patient spends this time with little pain and with family and friends. Doctors, nurses, specialists, health aides, social workers, and counselors work together to provide the patient with a better quality of life. The patient’s family members and caregivers can also receive respite care and bereavement support when needed.
All hospice providers are required to be licensed in the State of Texas, according to the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP). Although it is not necessary for a hospice provider to present a Certificate of Need, many seek accreditation from CHAP to ensure a better quality of life for their patients. CHAP has been accrediting hospice providers for over 50 years.
You can use the CHAP website to locate accredited providers in the Corpus Christi area, such as CHRISTUS HomeCare.
Texas Medicaid and Medicare Part A (medical) will cover hospice costs for patients that qualify. Medicare will not cover room and board at a facility during hospice services, however, if the resident has dual coverage (Medicaid and Medicare) the extra expense will be paid by Medicaid. To qualify for hospice coverage, your physician may need to complete a prior authorization.
TRICARE, the insurance benefit for veterans and their spouses, will cover hospice care. You can also check with your private insurance about coverage, although your policy may have to expressly mention hospice care.
If you do not have any insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid, consider asking the hospice agency about sliding scale fees based on income as many offer this as an alternative.
Corpus Christi is home to several hospice care agencies. You can use senior care directories or look at reviews and listings at the Better Business Bureau to locate these providers. A few agencies in the area include Altus Hospice Care, Legacy Home Health, Christus Homecare, Angel Bright Hospice, River City Hospice, Nurses on Wheels Home Health, Harbor Hospice, New Century Hospice of South Texas, and Vista Care.
Assisted living facilities and skilled nursing homes also offer hospice services for their residents. The following is a list of a few in the Corpus Christi area to consider: Brookdale Corpus Christi, Trinity Towers, Garden Estates of Corpus Christi, Mirador, The Waterford at Corpus Christi, and Oak Crest Nursing Center.
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