Is Hospice right for me?
Hospice focuses on care, not cure. At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options, including hospice. By law the decision belongs to the patient or their surrogate decision maker. Most hospices accept patients who have a life-expectancy of six months or less and who are referred by a physician. The team at Emblem Hospice of Tucson is always available to discuss any questions or concerns you or your family may have regarding eligibility.
Should I wait for our physician?
The right time to call us is when you or someone you love is faced with the challenge of an advanced illness. In fact, most families who use our services say that they wish they had called us sooner.
Patients and families should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other health care professionals, clergy or friends. Most physicians are fully informed about hospice. If you or your physician would like more information on our our services, Emblem Hospice of Tucson has staff available 24-hours a day to answer any questions.
How do I request care?
Emblem Hospice of Tucson staff is available 24-hours a day to assist you through the admissions process. During this time we outline the many services available the patient and provide consent and insurance forms similar to what a patient may sign when entering a hospital.
How is Hospice care paid for?
Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit, and most private insurers. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance company, hospice will work with the person and their family to ensure needed services can be provided. We provide services to everyone in need regardless of their ability to pay.
Who is eligible for Medicare Hospice benefits?
You are eligible for Medicare hospice benefits when you meet all of the following conditions:
- You are eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), and
- Your doctor and the hospice medical director certify that you have a life-limiting illness and if the disease runs its normal course, death may be expected in six months or less, and
- You sign a statement choosing hospice care instead of routine Medicare covered benefits for your illness, and
- You receive care from a Medicare-approved hospice program.
*Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health needs that aren’t related to your life-limiting illness or related illnesses.
What Hospice services does Medicare cover?
Medicare defines a set of hospice core services, which means that hospices are required to provide these set of services to each person they serve, regardless of the persons insurance.
Medicare covers these hospice services and pays nearly all of their costs:
- Physician services
- Nursing care
- Home health aide and homemaker services
- Social work services
- Dietary counseling
- Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
- Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
- Medications for symptom control and pain relief
- Short-term care in the hospital or skilled nursing facility for pain and symptom crisis management
- Inpatient respite for caregiver relief
- Short-term hourly care in the home for a pain and symptom crisis management
- Grief support to help you and your family during and after hospice services
- You will only have to pay part of the cost for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.
Where are our services provided?
Care is provided wherever you are living: at home, in a nursing home, assisted living or group home.
Does Hospice only serve persons diagnosed with cancer?
No. Many of our patients admitted had conditions related to cancer, but many have other diagnoses. Those include: congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Failure to Thrive, and many more.
To be eligible for hospice care does a patient need to be bedridden?
Hospice care is appropriate at the time of the terminal prognosis, regardless of the patient’s physical condition. Many of the patients served through hospice continue to lead productive and rewarding lives. Together, the patient, family, and physician determine when hospice services should begin.
If a patient has hospice care, can he or she return to traditional medical treatment?
Yes. Patients always have the right to reinstate traditional care at any time, for any reason. If a patient’s condition improves or the disease goes into remission, he or she can be discharged from a hospice and return to aggressive, curative measures, if so desired. If a discharged patient wants to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies and HMOs will allow readmission.
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