Hospice provides personalized care and comfort designed to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional, and social needs of an individual facing a life-limiting diagnosis, as well as the needs of his or her primary caregiver and family members. A team of professonals, which may include a physician, nurse, social worker, counselor, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and volunters, all work together to coordinate a care plan. Care is most often provided in the home with the primary caregiver continuing to provide most of the day-to-day care.
The goal of “comfort care” provided by hospice is to prevent and relieve pain and suffering. Hospice nurses are experienced and are often highly skilled at managing pain while not causing unnecessary grogginess. Your professional team can help guide you through day-to-day caregiving, offer bereavement counseling, help with emotional issues along the way, and stay in touch with you up to a year following the passing of your loved one.
Many people welcome the services and care offered by hospice. Others view hospice service as “giving up” and may deny themselves the comfort hospice can provide. Hospice can be ended at any time and resumed at a later date. Although most hospices are certified, you should verify certification, as Medicare will not cover care provided by a hospice that is not certified.
Who Pays for Medicare?
Medicare pays 100% toward hospice care, supplies, medication, equipment, and services. Other payment sources may include MO HealthNet, HMO’s, private insurance, and other managed care organizations.