Hospice is a special type of care for patients with a life-limiting illness, and for their caregivers and families. Hospice care is focused on quality of life for someone whose illness is unlikely to be cured.
In order to be eligible to elect hospice care under Medicare, an individual must be entitled to Part A of Medicare and be certified as being terminally ill by a physician, with a disease whose prognosis is six months or less if it runs its normal course.
There is no exhaustive, black-and-white list of conditions which make a patient hospice-appropriate. Your physician or Inspiring Hospice representative will help you to navigate your individual condition and questions, but the following is a list of diseases and conditions which can often entitle a patient to hospice care: heart disease, lung disease, AIDS, cancer, ALS, congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s, coma, COPD, dementia, diabetes, emphysema, liver failure, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, renal failure and stroke.
If you are experiencing any of the following, hospice may be able to restore some quality of life:
Hospice is a philosophy, not a place. Hospice care was originally intended to be provided in the patient’s home – whether a private residence or a nursing home or similar facility. IHG has provided hospice care in every conceivable setting, from private, modern assisted living facilities, to such temporary or non-traditional accommodations as a converted bus!
Inspiring Hospice Group accepts patients who live alone. However, a caregiver must be available as needed, and part of the admission and ongoing care process is to plan and prepare for the time in a patient’s illness when 24-hour a day care will be necessary.
In the course of in-home hospice care, it may be appropriate for a patient to be hospitalized, either to control pain or symptoms, or to offer necessary respite to the patient’s caregivers. The hospice benefit can accommodate and often pay for these needs.
There is no limit to the length of time that Medicare and most insurance providers will continue to pay for hospice care, as long as the patient continues to qualify for hospice.
Hospice agencies are run by private companies and sometimes, by non-profits – all under contractual arrangements with Medicare and insurance providers. Hospice care is provided by doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, health aides, bereavement counselors and volunteers. This group is referred to as an interdisciplinary team, which is headed by a Medical Director.
Hospice services are tailored to meet the specific needs of a patient and his or her family and caregivers, but typical services include visits from nurses and other healthcare professionals, pain and symptom relief, personal care, spiritual and emotional support for both the patient and his or her caregivers, bereavement counseling and dietary consultation. Hospice care pays for all medications that are related to the terminal condition and recommended by the hospice physician, and for any supplies and durable medical equipment deemed necessary by the hospice team.
Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. Services related to the terminal illness, such as medication, equipment and supplies, are covered by hospice benefits, with little or no cost to the patient.
Receiving hospice care is always a choice. A patient may leave hospice and return to curative treatment if that is their choice. If the patient later chooses to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies permit re-activation of the hospice benefit.
The frequency of visits from our nurses, home health aides, spiritual care and bereavement specialists and volunteers is determined in a care plan, in accordance with the needs of the patient. We will design this plan in consultation with the patient, the caregiver, doctors and nurses upon admission. We are always on call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Yes. If you choose, your physician will be included as an important part of your care team and involved in the development of your care plan.
You may ask your physician to refer you, or you may contact your local IHG program if you’d like us to take the first steps. After your physician refers you to hospice care, you and your family will meet with an admissions nurse to determine your needs and arrange for an individualized care plan.