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The Medicare Hospice Benefit

What is Hospice Care?

What is Hospice Care?

Under Medicare, hospice is primarily a program of care and support provided by a Medicare-approved agency or organization. Medicare beneficiaries that elect hospice care will receive necessary medical and supportive services to help manage their terminal illness. A personalized care plan is established by the beneficiary’s attending physician and the hospice care team.

Magnolia Hospice What is Hospice Care?

Important Facts About Hospice

  • Hospice provides comfort and support services to people who are terminally ill. It helps them live out the time they have remaining tothe fullest extent possible.
  • Hospice care is provided by a specially trained team that cares for the “whole person,” including his or her physical, emotional, socialand spiritual needs.
  • Hospice provides support to family members caring for a terminally-ill person.
  • Hospice is generally given in the home.
  • Hospice services may include drugs, physical care, counseling, equipment, and supplies for the terminal illness and related condition(s).
  • Hospice is not only for people with cancer.
  • Hospice focuses on comfort, not on curing an illness.
  • Hospice does not mean giving up hope.

Medicare covers the following hospice services for your terminal illness and related conditions:

Physician Services

Nursing Care (intermittent with 24 Hour On Call)

Medical Equipment and Supplies Related to the Terminal Illness

Drugs for Pain and Symptom Management*

Hospice Aide and Homemaker Services

Physical, Speech & Occupational Therapy

Medical Social Services (Social Worker)

Counseling Including Dietary and Spiritual Counseling

Short-term Inpatient Care (For Pain and Symptom Management)

Short-term Respite Care*

Any Other Medicare Covered Services Needed

* – May need to pay a small copayment

Who is Eligible for the Medicare Hospice Benefit?

Hospice care is available under Medicare if ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • The patient is eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance).
  • The patient’s doctor and the hospice medical director certify that the patient is terminally ill with 6 months or less to live if the illness runs its normal course.
  • The patient signs a statement choosing hospice care instead of other Medicare-covered benefits for their terminal illness. **
  • The patient receives care from a Medicare-approved hospice program.

* – Material excerpted from Medicare Hospice Benefit: Publication by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
** – Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for health problems that are not related to your terminal illness.

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