Although the number of Americans using hospice care and end of life services has gone a notch higher in the recent past, there are still millions of people who are skeptical about signing up for end of life care because of the cost. What is the real cost of hospice care? Who pays for end of life care? Can I afford hospice care? These are some of the questions that bother many. We want to address them to help people understand what they’re getting into.
Hospice offers pain management and palliative care for patients who are terminally ill and need special round the clock care. This care is provided by specially trained doctors, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and medical aides. To administer the required care, these professionals use the highest quality medical equipment and medication. Specialized care along with the long hours of attention patients need makes hospice care a little costly.
In 2016, a study conducted across 650 hospices by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, showed that the daily average cost of hospice care is about $300. This also depends on the type of facilities and the form of hospice care availed to the patients. Hospital inpatient charges can soar as high as $3,000 per day while the cost to maintain a patient in the ICY department of a hospital can hit the highs of $5,000 per day. This depends on the severity of the medical condition and the nature of services offered by the facility housing the patient. So, who pays for hospice care in America?
More than 80% of hospice and end of life care costs are covered by Government entities such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration. Medicare offers benefits to eligible individuals who receive hospice care as long as the facility is Medicare approved. As long as your doctor or nurse practitioner certifies you are terminally ill and you have Medicare Part A, you are eligible to receive hospice care under Medicare and have all costs covered. Medicare’s hospice coverage includes a broad range of services meant to make the patient’s life more comfortable and pain-free.
Medicaid provides medical coverage to low income families. Eligibility for Medicaid differs from one state to another, but the hospice benefits are almost identical to those of Medicare. In addition to covering the hospice services received by patients, Medicaid covers a large percentage of the room and board costs for patients in nursing homes.
The other means of paying for hospice care in America is through private insurance. People who are not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or VA pay for their end of life care through private insurance. In this situation, the insurance company negotiates the cost of the services offered on behalf of the patients.
All Americans can afford hospice care in one way or the other. If one is a low income earner, he/she will be eligible for Medicare/Medicaid and will be able to enjoy the end of life care with minimal personal stress. To find out about your eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid, talk to a medical practitioner today for more information.
For more information on the cost of hospice services at Wings of Hope, give us a call at 602-971-0304 or visit our offices and will gladly explain the cost of our services and accepted payment methods.