What is Medicare-certified Hospice?

Medicare defines Hospice as end-of-life treatment, focusing on the whole person, including support for physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The primary purpose of Hospice is to control pain and other symptoms so the patient can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice stresses quality or life and is an alternative to extended medical or curative treatments.      

Hospice services are provided in the comfort of a patient’s home. Hospice care can also be provided at a Medicare-certified Hospice facility, hospital, or skilled nursing center.  

Hospice services are 100% covered for beneficiaries with Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plan, and most Commercial Insurance plans. However, Medicare only covers Hospice care if the Hospice provider is Medicare-approved.  Coverage includes everything needed related to the terminal illness.

Hospice requires an order from a physician – either the patient’s physician or the Hospice Medical Director – who certifies the illness is terminal (life expectancy of less than 6 months). Hospice can be recertified for longer periods of time if medically appropriate and necessary and as long as the patient agrees not to seek curative treatments.

To speak with a Reliant at Home representative about our Hospice services, please contact us.

Medications related to the terminal illness are also covered 100%.  The Hospice provider’s Medical Director may prescribe new medications for pain and comfort and discontinue others not related to the terminal illness.  A patient may ask the Hospice agency to provide a list of items, services, and medications they have determined are not related to the terminal illness and why that determination was made.

Deciding if and when Hospice is right can be overwhelming.  It can also be hard to overcome the perception that going on Hospice means giving up on living.  On the contrary, choosing Hospice at the right time can be a much more positive experience for the patient and their loved ones.  Pain control, peaceful rest, and comfort means higher quality time to recall wonderful memories, share stories, make the most of moments that matter, and plan a desired end of life.    

Signs it might be the right time for Hospice:

  • Rapid decline in health despite medical treatments
  • Severe weight loss or lack of desire to eat
  • Inability to perform self-care or be left alone safely
  • Unusual change in cognitive function
  • Frequent hospitalizations related to infections, difficulty breath, and falls
  • Fragile skin and skin tears
  • Loss of bodily functions and control
  • End of life planning or actions (giving possessions away, making funeral arrangements, etc.)
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, or loved ones
  • Uncontrolled pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Increased sleeping

When Hospice seems like a possibility, don’t wait.  Preparing early will make a material difference.  Reliant at Home has a team of compassionate Hospice experts who can explain in more detail what to expect with Hospice, why Hospice may appropriate or if it is best to wait, and how to get support from healthcare providers.     

To speak with a Reliant at Home representative about Hospice services, please contact us.

Nothing feels more important than life-limiting circumstances – the world comes to a stand-still.  Decisions, tasks, finances, and planning can be overwhelming on top of personal and family sadness, fear, and sometimes anger.  Having a compassionate partner at your side to help navigate care options and complex decisions is essential.  

Our job is to listen first, then help.  There is no greater honor than to participate in and care for a patient during their final season of life.  Care is our higher calling and it is our mission to serve and live up to the standards of the Reliant at Home Bluebird Promise. 

Once a patient or family has elected to receive Hospice services, a Reliant at Home Hospice representative will meet with the patient, family, and other loved ones to review Hospice services, sign consent forms, explain what to expect, and answer questions.  

An RN Case Manager will complete a comprehensive assessment to evaluate the type and frequency of care that is needed.  In collaboration with the patient’s physician, the Reliant at Home Medical Director and other Interdisciplinary Team members, a Plan of Care is developed to address medications, pain, symptom management, and disease state, as well as spiritual and psychosocial needs.  

Our Hospice Interdisciplinary Team includes:

  • Medical Director – a Doctor of Medicine (MD) leads the Interdisciplinary Team, provides medical oversight and orders, collaborates with other physicians the patient may have if appropriate
  • RN/LVN – provides hands-on clinical care, specialized in end-of-life care and pain management and guides the care plan, primary contact for the patient and family
  • Medical Social Worker (MSW) – assists the patient or family with end-of-life planning, challenging emotional dynamics, funeral arrangements, insurance forms, and supports the family throughout their journey
  • Chaplain/Bereavement Counselor – provides spiritual counseling, prayer services, emotional counseling, and support for up to 18 months after death
  • Hospice Aide – assists with personal care such as bathing and dressing, provides companionship and support, and communicates changes in health status to the RN/LVN
  • Hospice Volunteer – donates their time to sit with patients, read to them or just visit, provides relief for caregivers, and run errands

In addition to Hospice, Reliant at Home also provides these services:

  • Home Health
  • Caregivers
  • Rehab

To speak with a Reliant at Home representative about Hospice services, please contact us.

To speak with a Reliant at Home representative about our Hospice services, please contact us.

In addition to Hospice, Reliant at Home also provides these services: