Studies show that patients receiving end-of-life care, also known as hospice care, tend to live longer than patients not receiving the same type of coordinated care. Hospice care can begin as early as twelve months in an end stage illness or disease. These conditions with no cure can include:
Congestive heart failure
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
MS (multiple sclerosis)
Lou Gehrig’s disease
End stage dementia
The patients receive support, symptom and pain management, and companionship in a peaceful and comfortable setting. Starting hospice early allows the patient more time to spend with family and friends.
The family and caregivers benefit as well with counseling, bereavement support, and respite care. The hospice team typically consists of doctors, nurses, counselors, specialists, clergy, home health aides, social workers, and volunteers.
Hospice services in Nashville are required to be licensed and certified by the State of Tennessee. A competent hospice team delivers coordinated care in a timely manner with a high standard of professionalism and compassion. You can find reviews about hospice services online at senior care directories, the Better Business Bureau, and the national database on the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) website. CHAP also lists accredited hospice providers that are Medicare and Medicaid certified.
The cost of hospice care varies between locations and patients. Due to the wide range of services that hospice offers, the cost runs higher than other types of care. Most private insurances cover hospice care. Confirm that your policy specifically states that it covers hospice. TRICARE, the insurance used by veterans and military families across the country, fully covers hospice care. Medicare Part A pays for the majority of all hospice care in the United States. In 2010, Medicare paid an average of $10,700 per hospice patient. Hospice is covered 100 percent through Medicare Part A as long as your hospice team orders the services you need to receive.
The Tennessee Medicaid Program, TennCare, covers hospice care under the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) plan. Hospice providers that are Medicare and Medicaid certified must follow stringent guidelines in order to retain certification. If you do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, and do not have private insurance or a third-party payer, ask your hospice provider about alternative payment plans and sliding scale fees based on your income. The hospice service may recommend charitable organizations in the Nashville area that can help.
You can find dozens of assisted living communities, skilled nursing homes, and Alzheimer’s care centers in Nashville that have hospice available. A few facilities that provide hospice are SeniorAdvisor.com’s Best of 2016 Award winners including Brookdale Belle Meade and Brookdale Green Hills Cumberland. Other facilities with hospice include Belmont Village Green Hills, Elmcroft of Brentwood, and Brookdale Bellevue. You can also contact hospice agencies directly for more information like AseraCare, Gentiva Hospice, and Amedisys Home Health.
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