Hospice care is defined as a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. In short, it is end of life care that focuses on keeping the patient as calm and comfortable as possible.
When a physician makes a referral to hospice it is because they believe that the prognosis for the underlying condition, untreated, is a life expectancy of six months or less.
Typically, but not always, the hospice agency takes over all medical care for the patient. Some benefits of hospice services are:
- All medications covered (no co-pays)
- 2-3 CNA visits per week to assist with bathing and other care needs
- 1-2 Nurse visits per week to set and review care plans
- 24/7 response to patient medical needs
- Providing durable medical equipment and supplies
- Caregiver respite services
- Providing counseling and Chaplin services
- No out of pocket costs (a Medicare benefit)
For those who need hospice service, the service is truly a blessing for the patient and their family. Because hospice is such an important resource for those that need it, it is important to pick the right provider. With 185 licensed hospice providers in Arizona it’s not an easy task picking the best provider. Some considerations when selecting a hospice provider are:
- Do they service your area
- Do they accept your insurance
- Will they cover ALL medications
- Will they provide ALL requested equipment
- Frequency of CNA and Nurse visits
- CMS survey results
- AZDHS survey results
- Other families experiences with the provider
If you are considering Hospice services your Care Advocate can provide you with a list of options and assist you in picking the best hospice provider in your area.