Hospice is a special kind of interdisciplinary care given in the patient’s home by our team of professionals, volunteers, and dedicated staff. Hospice affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones the end of life. Through sensitivity, appropriate care, and the support of a caring community, terminally ill patients and their families can begin preparing both mentally and spiritually to face the inevitable challenges ahead. The focus is on care, comfort, and quality of life.
Schneck Medical Center Hospice provides:
- Free nursing evaluation
- Skilled nursing care (infusion therapy, pain management, symptom management, case management)
- 24 hour on-call nursing support
- Hospice Aids (bathing, exercises, personal care)
- Therapy services (physical, occupational, and speech therapy)
- Individual and family counseling (short-term individual and family support with a focus on assessment and referral if needed)
- Social work services (home needs assessment, community referrals, assistance with funeral planning, and psychosocial plan of care)
- Pastoral and spiritual care
- Volunteer support (companionship, household tasks, respite for caregiver)
- Bereavement support for loved ones (memorial services, resources, support)
- Dietary counseling
- Pharmacy support
Cost of Services
Hospice services are available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Medicare and most private insurance policies reimburse services. Patients who choose the Hospice Medicare Benefit will have all needs relative to the terminal illness covered with no deductibles or co-insurance participation. The attending physician continues to bill as usual.
Who is eligible for Medicare Hospice Benefits?
Hospice care is covered under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). You are eligible for Medicare hospice benefits when:
- You are eligible for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance); and
- Your doctor and the hospice medical director certify that you are terminally ill and probably have less than six months to live; and
- You sign a statement choosing hospice care instead of routine Medicare covered benefits for your terminal illness; and
You receive care from a Medicare-approved hospice program. Medicare will still pay for covered benefits that are not related to your terminal illness.
How does Hospice work?
Your doctor and the hospice will work with you and your family to set up a plan of care that meets your needs. The plan of care includes the hospice services you need that are covered by Medicare. Below is a list of these services, including grief and loss counseling for your family.
The care that the hospice gives you is meant to help you retain quality of life by giving you comfort and relief from pain. The focus is on care, not cure.
What does Medicare cover?
- Physician services
- Nursing care
- Medical equipment (wheelchairs, hospital bed, etc.)
- Medical supplies (bandages, catheters, etc.)
- Drugs for symptom control and pain relief
- Short-term care in the hospital, including respite
- Home health aide and homemaker services
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Social worker services
- Dietary counseling
- Counseling to help you and your family with grief and loss
- Spiritual counseling
What is not covered?
Treatment to cure your terminal illness is not a covered service. As a hospice patient, you will receive comfort care to help you cope with your illness, not cure it. Comfort care includes medications for symptom control and pain relief, physical care, counseling and other hospice services. Hospice uses medicine, equipment, and supplies to make you as comfortable and pain-free as possible. You should talk to your doctor if you are thinking about potential treatment to cure your illness. As a hospice patient, you will always have the right to stop hospice care and go back to your regular doctor or health plan.
Care from another hospice that was not set up by your hospice is not covered. You only receive hospice care from one hospice provider. You cannot get hospice care from another hospice provider, unless you change your hospice provider.
Can I keep my Medicare health plan?
Yes. You should use your Medicare health plan to get care for any health problems that are not related to your terminal illness. You may be able to get this care from your own doctor who is not a part of the hospice, or from the hospice doctor. When you use your Medicare health plan, you must pay the deductible and coinsurance amounts (if you have the original Medicare plan), or the co-payment (if you have the Medicare managed care plan). For more information about Medicare health plans, including deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments, look in your Medicare & You handbook. If you do not have the Medicare handbook, you can get a free copy by calling (800) 633-4227 (800) MEDICARE.
How long can I receive hospice care?
You can receive hospice care as long as your doctor certifies that you are terminally ill and probably have less than six months to live. Even if you live longer than six months, you can receive hospice care as long as your doctor recertifies that you are terminally ill.
Referrals and questions about our hospice may be made by contacting the Hospice Care Coordinator at (812) 522-0508. A physician referral is required.