Why are Hospice Medicare Services Underutilized?

Despite the fact that Medicare covers the expenses of hospice care, the vast majority of medical journal reviews and extensive studies covering the subject of hospice care conclude that few Americans entering the final phase of life utilize the benefits of high quality hospice care. According to a study by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, only 43% of those eligible received hospice Medicare services. Despite the fact that enrollment to hospice programs has increased by more than 50% since 2009, there are many aspects of hospice care that are misunderstood and underused in America. This begs the question: Why are so many Americans missing out on this important service?


Deemed as a Send-Off

One of the main reasons many patients and families avoid hospice Medicare services is because they often deem hospice care as a sign of life coming to an end and a ‘polite’ send off by family members. Many people believe that hospice care means that they have lost the fight against the ailment they are suffering from. However, this is not the case. Under hospice care, patients lead full, mobile high quality lives for months and even years. This is attributed to the fact that under hospice care, the ailing patients get specialized care from qualified professionals and their life is made as comfortable as possible.


Deemed Expensive

Another common reason people avoid enrolling for hospice care programs, is the misperception that hospice care is expensive. Unknown to many, the full cost of hospice care is covered by Medicare and most private medical insurances. What this means is there are many people who pay for something and end up not using it when they need it most. It is important for families and individuals to check their eligibility for hospice Medicare services and be willing to use them when the time comes.


Misunderstood Terms

Gaps still exist when it comes to items that Medicare and other private insurance will cover and reimburse for those patients enrolling for hospice care programs. There are certain terms and clauses in agreement forms which are not fully clear and don’t make it any easier for eligible patients during stressful periods of illness. If there is a clause in the agreement form that you don’t understand or a term in Medicare regulations that you are not familiar with, talk to your insurance or a medical professional to understand what they mean in full.

It is important to note that hospice Medicare services continue to meet and even exceed the expectations of many terminally ill patients who really need the services. Many people whose family members enrolled for the programs highly regard the services and vow to use them when the right time comes. More people are realizing that hospice care isn’t just focused on life coming to an end, but on providing quality care and granting the terminally ill patients quality care when they need it most.

If you are in Arizona and looking for the best hospice facility for your loved one, feel free to contact us at 602-971-0304 and we will provide more information on our hospice care services. We at Wings of Hope will explain the eligibility of your loved ones for hospice Medicare services and provide the care he/she needs. Contact us today for more information.