Decisions about end-of-life care are never easy, but hospice care is a simple way to ease the difficulty and stress of this challenging time. With hospice care, you have the freedom to choose where you want to spend your final days, whether that’s at home or in a medical setting like a hospital or nursing home. You will get a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, and other support staff that will care for your needs and provides counseling and support to your family members.
There are other benefits to using hospice care and the National Association of Home Care and Hospice study showed that patients using these services had less pain and a better quality of care. These patients also encountered less depression and ended up living longer than non-hospice patients because they got the proper palliative care.
The first thing you should look for when searching for hospice care is the proper licensing. The state of Oklahoma requires all hospice providers to register with the State Department of Health. CHAP or Community Accreditation Partner also works to license and accredit hospice providers. This independent review board, created in 1965, lists approved agencies on their website.
While licenses and registration are important, finding the best quality of care is just as important. You want an agency that has a good history of working with patients and their families. They should also be compassionate and coordinate all care schedules easily. Ask your doctor for a referral or talk with relatives and close friends for suggestions. If you want to go online, patient and family reviews are often helpful.
It’s common to be concerned with the cost of hospice care because it tends to be higher than other care. You pay more for hospice because there are more services and more people on your care team. Depending on where you live and the care you need, your daily average cost can fluctuate, but you can expect to pay around $160 per day.
You might not have to pay for all your services out of pocket though because there is financial assistance. Most private insurance companies include hospice care so check your policy. Even though Medicare doesn’t pay for things like nursing homes or assisted living, they will cover hospice expenses for Part A policyholders. Be prepared to pay a small copay for medication and care, though. Medicaid recipients can use their benefits for hospice and veterans as well as their dependents can use TRICARE.
If none of these payment options work for you, you can talk with the hospice agency directly to see what they can do. Some providers might be willing to use a sliding scale rate or set-up a payment plan that works for you. Your situation might also qualify for charitable care, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you’re already living in an assisted living facility or nursing home, many offer hospice care. Places like Saint Simeon’s Senior Community, Aberdeen Heights Senior Living Community, and Brookdale Tulsa Midtown all provide this service. If you need a particular type of care, like memory care, facilities like Storey Oaks can care for you and provide hospice.
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