When you or a loved one are terminally ill, it turns your world upside down. More than anything, most people want to be as comfortable as possible and spend as much time with their friends and family as they can. In-home hospice care was created with this in mind.
What Is In-Home Hospice Care?
In-home hospice care is additional medical and personal care assistance provided to terminally ill patients in their homes. It is designed to bring physical and emotional support in the last days of a patient’s life.
What Can Hospice Provide?
Hospice is an invaluable resource to patients and their families/support systems. When under hospice services, patients may receive:
- Additional hands-on care from doctors, nurses and nurses’ aides, often two visits per week from a nurse and up to three visits per week from a certified aide
- On-call care whenever needed, such as when a patient experiences changes in condition, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
- Expert pain management for maximum comfort
- Help obtaining assistive medical devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds
- Spiritual support
- Access to support groups
- Services from volunteers, which may include light housekeeping help, reading aloud, praying, etc.
- Assistance scheduling respite care services when needed
How Is In-Home Hospice Paid for?
In most cases, a patient’s existing insurance covers the cost of hospice services. Hospice companies can bill the following for their services:
- Medicare, through the Medicare Hospice Benefit
- Veterans Health Administration
- Private insurance
If you or your loved one do not have any of the above coverages, talk to your local hospice organizations about potential sliding scale billing programs.
What Are the Qualifications for Hospice Coverage?
Let’s look at the Medicare Hospice Benefits requirements for coverage. You’ll find that most of the other organizations require similar, if not these exact, qualifications. Keep in mind, no matter whether services are rendered in the home, a long-term care facility or a hospital, the Medicare qualifications for receiving hospices services, as well as the coverage, are the same:
- The patient must have a diagnosis of a terminal illness.
- The patient must be 65 years or older.
- The patient’s doctor or a hospice medical director must certify that the patient has six months or less to live. Note: If a patient lives longer than the originally certified six months, coverage can be extended for unlimited 60-day periods.
Learn more about hospice care and support on the American Hospice Foundation’s website.
If you or a loved one is coping with a terminal diagnosis, investigate hospice as an option for physical and emotional support. And you can lean on Errand Works to relieve the stress of everyday errands. We can pick up and drop off prescriptions, make drugstore and grocery store runs, assist with getting to and from appointments, if needed, and more. Don’t waste another minute on unimportant tasks when you could be spending precious time with your loved one.
Errand Works, LLC, is licensed, bonded and insured. Every errand runner must pass a Virginia State Criminal Background Check prior to being hired. In addition, each errand runner is a Virginia State Notary. Errand Works currently serves Prince William County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and the surrounding areas.