Hospice is medical care for those with a terminal illness to live as well as possible for as long as possible, increasing the quality of life. This care is provided by a team of professionals who address the physical, psychosocial and spiritual distress of both the dying person and their family. Hospice came to the U.S. in the mid 1970’s and at that time was often used when cancer was the diagnosis. Today, late stage heart, kidney, or lung disease and many other diagnosed illnesses utilize Hospice care. There are even facilities for infants, children and adolescents available.
The timing of hospice need is determined by a physician and family when the patient has 6 months or less to live, is declining rapidly despite medical treatment and the patient is ready to live more comfortably and forgo treatment aimed at prolonging life
Services provided by Hospice include medication for pain relief, medical equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers, therapies such as speech, physical or occupational and even dietary counseling. Short term inpatient care, when adequate pain or symptom management cannot be achieved in the home setting and respite care for a caregiver are also covered. Services not covered under Hospice benefit are treatments and prescriptions not related to the terminal illness, room and board charges in a nursing home or hospice residential facility or emergency room, inpatient or ambulance care unless arranged by the Hospice provider. Most individual and employer coverage designs cover hospice care as stated above. Medicare eligible individuals who utilize original Medicare or have a Medicare Advantage plan also have hospice coverage included.
When looking for a Hospice program, consider the following questions:
- Is the hospice provider certified and licensed by the state or federal government?
- Does the hospice provider train caregivers to care for you at home?
- How will your doctor work with the doctor from the hospice provider?
- How many other patients are assigned to each member of the hospice care staff?
- Will the hospice staff meet regularly with you and your family to discuss care?
- How does the hospice staff respond to after-hour emergencies?
- What measures are in place to ensure hospice care quality?
- What services do hospice volunteers offer? Are they trained?
For more information about hospice care visit www.hospicefoundation.org or for those who are Medicare eligible visit Www.medicare.gov. This is loving care, provided by compassionate individuals, providing dignity for those at the end of life.
A little more about us:
The Business Warrior group has some of the industry’s top experts in all the areas your business needs to be successful. Amongst the contributors is Janis VanAhn, owner of Health Insurance Advisor, LLC. For 19 years Janis has worked in and around the health insurance industry initially providing service to agents and employers related to employee benefits, individual healthcare and Medicare, while more recently becoming appointed as an individual agent with various quality carriers to provide this service to individuals through her own business.
Four years ago Janis was ‘blessed’ with being let go from her job at an insurance ageny. Staying within insurance was her path…but in what capacity. 2010 was the year Janis began her career as an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance. Finding quality, cost-effective healthcare for individuals and families under age 65 as well as working with those who are Medicare eligible truly was her passion. She has made this a true specialty and positioned herself as someone to work with whether it is a financial professional or property & casualty agent with a client that needs assistance, to a group of seniors turning 65 and they keep receiving Medicare information and are confused about what to do.
Janis enjoys the one on one contact with clients as well as looking forward to speaking to groups about healthcare. Her excitement for this industry is what drives her to stay in tune with Healthcare Reform and what is currently happening and what will happen with coverage from now to past 2014.
‘Educating individual and Medicare consumers to make informed choices’ is her mission because if people are educated and understand, they will make informed choices that they are comfortable with.