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Hospice is a type of care for individuals who have 6 months or less to live. Instead of trying to cure the illness, pain management & symptom relief become the focus of the patient’s medical team. Hospice care can be obtained in home or in a facility.
There are 3 conditions that must be met in order to be eligible for hospice:
- A doctor must certify that the patient is terminally ill and not expected to live more than 6 months. In the event that the patient lives longer than 6 months, he or she would have to be recertified;
- The patient must choose to receive palliative care (care designed to make him or her comfortable) instead of care to cure the illness; and
- The patient must sign a statement affirming that he or she will receive only hospice-related care in the future.
A hospice facility must be certified by Medicare in order for the patient to receive Medicare coverage. The most common misconception about hospice is that Medicare covers everything in a facility. In fact, in most cases, room & board are not covered, and they typically cost in excess of $12,000 a month. In-home hospice is fully covered by Medicare and includes training for family members & other caretakers.
Hospice care helps patients and their families. To make full use of what it has to offer, contact Russo Law Group, P.C. and speak to a trusts and estates attorney.