The cost of hospice care has been something of a mystery to the general public. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what hospice care covers, who pays for it, and whether or not it is comparable in price to other treatment options. Here are a few things you need to consider as you compare the cost of hospice care for your loved ones:
In nearly all cases, Medicare covers the cost of hospice care and end of life treatment. Medicare is legally obligated to pay for all medically necessary treatments, and more than 80% of people who pass away each year receive Medicare benefits during their final few months of life. Medicare makes payments to hospice facilities based on location and average cost of care, but you can expect them to pay about $150 per day for hospice treatment.
In general, at home hospice care costs less than inpatient facilities. With at home care you can choose whether you want intermittent check-ins or full time care. Even if there is a family member willing to manage the day to day care of the patient, many hospice facilities offer short term respite care so the family members can leave town, take a break, or tend to other things. Obviously, full time in patient care is the most expensive option because it covers the cost of the facility and all staffing.
While your hospice facility may be very up front about the costs of their care at home or in their facility, there are some additional fees you should remain aware of. For instance, patient transport bills can be high if a patient is often rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. In addition, most forms of therapy and non-necessary treatments come at a premium. Be sure you speak to your hospice facility in advance about these extra charges and how they handle emergencies.
For the most part, you can rest assured that the cost of hospice care will be manageable with the help of Medicare. Make sure you are choosing the right level of care for your loved one and verify any additional treatment options before you sign up as these can add surprise costs to your monthly bill.