Patients generally obtain a hospice referral from their own physician after being diagnosed with a terminal illness and after receiving a prognosis of six months or so to live.
U.P. Home Health, Hospice & Private Duty CEO Jeff Nyquist says at that point, the hospice organization begins billing insurance for the client’s prescriptions, and billing for all the various services involved in hospice is rolled into one package.
Nyquist says hospice organizations constantly communicate with both public and private insurers.
Cost is not an issue; under Medicare laws, no one can be denied hospice care because of an inability to pay.
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers cover hospice services.
Lake Superior Hospice social worker Tiffany Johnson says their organization deals with Medicare more frequently than any other provider.
Many people believe that if you’re receiving hospice care, you can’t keep your own doctor.
But hospice staff members say that you will.
Lake Superior Hospice RN educator Becky Shauver says although hospice staff will see you more often than your physician will, they will communicate regularly with your doctor and choices about how your care will be directed will still come from your doctor.
I’ll look at other misconceptions many people have about hospice in the final part of our series Friday night.