It's important to understand that hospice care is not just for people on their deathbed.
Hospice care is a philosophy of care. But hospice care also is a specific insurance benefit to cover the cost of therapy that maintains or improves quality of life for a patient with a disease that can’t be cured. This is also the case if the patient has declined aggressive treatment to cure it.
Patients must be certified by a physician that their life expectancy is less than six months if the illness runs its expected course. This process is repeated after a set amount of time according to Medicare guidelines. Patients are either certified again or taken off hospice care if their condition improves. They can decide to be off hospice as their condition changes.
Learn more about what is required for hospice at www.Medicare.gov.
The many benefits of hospice care include:
Hospice care can take place in more than one setting depending on the illness, degree of support from family and friends, money concerns, and what the patient prefers. This includes inpatient hospice, residential facilities such as skilled nursing facilities or assisted-living residences, or home.
Hospice care helps families care for the person as they approach the end of life. People who choose hospice care agree to not go to the emergency room or hospital to treat their main diagnosis. The goal of hospice care is to support the person and their family as illness takes its natural course.