When patients near the end of their life, hospice care is often used to help ease the pain and stress of this challenging time. Hospice is a combination of medical care and emotional support not only for the patient but their family as well. These services could include things like therapy, counseling services, pain management, respite care, and medical attention. Hospice can be given in a patient’s home or at a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility. As part of hospice care, a team of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, social workers, and other members will administer care.
Hospice is an important part of a patient’s care once they reach the end of their life and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice looked at studies that showed hospice patients had less depression and a better quality of life. When compared to their non-hospice counterparts, hospice patients also had less pain and lived longer because of the palliative care they received.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you look for a hospice provider. First, the state of Texas requires all hospice providers to have a license, and Texas Health and Human Services is in charge of that. Agencies can also get approval for Medicare and Medicaid services. While it isn’t required, a few agencies get additional accreditation from groups like Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP).
After having a license, a hospice provider should improve your quality of life and offer compassionate and reliable care. It’s helpful if they provide a lot of services so you can find ones that meet your needs and they should also be skilled at handling a care schedule and coordinating services. Talk to your friends and family members and see if they have a suggestion or get a referral from your health care provider. You can also look at reviews and rankings online to help narrow down your search.
Hospice tends to be an expensive service because more people are providing a wider range of care. The national average for daily hospice costs is right around $190.80. In Webb County, Medicare estimates they spend an average of $149.83 per beneficiary each day. While that’s lower than the national average, in-home costs in Laredo are around $56 per day, and nursing home care can be between $149 and $166.
More programs help cover the costs of hospice care than any other type of care. Medicare doesn’t pay for things like nursing homes or assisted living, but they will pay for hospice. Part A policyholders can get most of their services and medications covered and only pay a small copay. Texas Medicaid also covers hospice, and if you’re a military member or a dependent of one, TRICARE will cover hospice services. Private insurance also takes care of hospice for many people, so check your policy to be sure.
In case none of these options work for you, you might still be able to get hospice care. Some providers can work out a payment plan or offer you a sliding scale rate so you can pay what you can. Charitable care might also be an option at some agencies.
There are a few hospice providers in the Laredo area. Brightstar of Laredo offers a variety of in-home care services including hospice care. Regent Care Center of Laredo is an assisted living facility, and they provide hospice as part of their skilled nursing services.
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