If you or someone you love has a terminal illness and is nearing the end of life, you might be considering hospice care. Hospice is a combination of medical and emotional support for both patients and their family members going through this challenging time. Services might include pain management, counseling, respite care, therapy, and any medical attention needed. Hospice can be in a person’s home, but facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and memory care communities also have hospice services. A team of doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, therapists, and others will work together to provide a full range of care.
Hospice plays a crucial role in many patient’s lives, and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice found studies that pointed out how hospice patients had a better quality of life near the end and suffered from less depression. Hospice patients also tend to experience less pain and may even live longer because they have proper palliative care.
Finding the right hospice provider might seem challenging, but if you know what to look for, you can easily find what you need. Hospice providers in Nevada must have a license to operate, and the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public and Behavioral Health handles those. Some agencies opt to get additional accreditation, and the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) is an independent board that reviews providers. You can also find organizations that are Medicare and Medicaid approved.
Once you find a place with all their credentials, make sure they have a history of quality care. The workers should be compassionate, the agency should have plenty of services to cover your needs, and they should all be adept at coordinating a care schedule. Your friends or neighbors might have some good suggestions, and your doctor can always give you a referral. You can also go online to look at reviews and rankings of each provider to see if they will match your needs and wants.
Hospice is expensive. There are more people and more services used so you can expect to pay more than you would for other long-term care options. Medicare estimates that the national average hospice cost per day is around $190.80 and for Washoe County, that daily average is $305.56 per capita. Reno in-home care costs are around $139 per day, and a facility might cost between $109 and $301 per day, to put that cost in perspective.
Luckily, you have more options when it comes to payment. Medicare, which usually doesn’t pay for nursing homes or assisted living, does pay for hospice care. If you’re a Part A beneficiary, you might have to pay a small copay, but many of your services and medication will be fully covered. Medicaid in Nevada also covers hospice, and military members can get hospice covered through TRICARE. Private insurance companies often have hospice coverage as well.
If you can’t use any of these payment methods, you might be able to work out a payment plan with the agency or ask them to use a sliding scale rate. There could be a chance you could also receive charitable care.
Hospice care is available in many settings in Reno. The winner of 2017 Best of Senior Living Award, Atria Summit Ridge, is an assisted living facility that provides hospice among its many services. Five Star Premier Residences of Reno is another assisted living facility with hospice care. Memory care communities like Brookdale Reno and Brookdale Northwest Reno also have hospice as a part of their services.
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