Most people believe that end-of-life care, also known as hospice care, means stopping all current treatments after a terminal prognosis of fewer than twelve months. Your loved one can continue specific treatments if it brings them comfort, such as physical therapy or radiation therapy. The primary focus for the hospice team is to ensure your loved one is comfortable with managed pain and symptoms, so they can enjoy their family during this time.
Hospice is usually called in for an end stage illness such as AIDS, cancer, stroke, late stage dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, liver disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Not only does the patient benefit from the specialized care, but family members and caregivers also receive counseling, bereavement support, and respite care. The hospice team makes every effort to coordinate care with the patient’s doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, clergymen, health aides, and volunteers.
According to Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), the accreditation program helping hospice providers for 50 years, hospice care companies must be licensed in order to operate in Arizona. They do not need to carry a Certificate of Need. You will want to ask a hospice agency during an interview if their licensing is current to confirm the company does follow the strict regulations.
You can use CHAP’s database to find local accredited hospice providers in the Gilbert area and in nearby Chandler. Currently, the organization lists the accreditation dates for hospice agencies like Aegis Homecare, Aegis Hospice, Divine Home Health Care, Gemini Hospice, and LINCARE. The directory also lists agencies throughout the state and across the country.
Many third party payers and private insurances now cover hospice care as long as the specialized care is prior authorized by a physician and the prognosis are months, not years. TRICARE, the insurance benefit for veterans, covers hospice 100 percent for vets and their spouses. Arizona Medicaid uses the Arizona Long-Term Care (ALTCS) Program to cover hospice care for low-income individuals in the state. ALTCS also pays for home-delivered meals and dental services. Medicare will cover hospice care under the Part A (medical) designation, however, this does not cover room and board in an assisted living community or skilled nursing home. Patients with dual coverage (Medicaid and Medicare) combine the two for full coverage.
You can search for hospice care providers online through a search engine or senior care directory. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also lists agencies and features ratings and reviews. A few of the local agencies in the neighborhood include Hospice Family Care, Companion Hospice, Allegiant Hospice, and Americare Hospice and Palliative Care.
If you are looking for hospice service within an assisted living community, you can find care through Sunrise of Gilbert, Brookdale North Gilbert, Greenfields Assisted Living and Yashua Cedar. Schedule a tour to speak to a manager about their hospice services.
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