Hospice care provides a dignified and supportive function to terminally ill patients in the Post-Acute Continuum of Care. In 2015, hospice services were provided to more than 1.38 million Medicare beneficiaries. Hospice services include, but are not limited to, medical and nursing care, medical equipment and supplies, pain and symptom medication management, and therapy and counseling services. When a patient elects to enter Hospice , Medicare will no longer pay for certain services such as room and board, treatment of the terminal illness outside of the hospice program, and other care, including emergency room visits and inpatient stays. Murer Consultants is uniquely situated to assist organizations with integrating Hospice services into their post-acute continuum. Murer Consultants can assist with the following:
- Feasibility studies and development of new Hospice programs, including submission of all necessary State and Federal regulatory documents, as applicable
- Education and training for clinical and medical staff to ensure a clear understanding of all eligibility requirements
- Ongoing review of existing programs to ensure regulatory compliance
- Identification of the best market strategy moving forward
- Development of a hospice program that fits into your existing continuum of care
- Facilitation of partnering with a third-party entity to best meet organizational needs
- Strategic intervention to better situate existing Hospice programs.
To qualify for the Hospice benefit, patients must:
- Be eligible for Medicare Part A
- Be certified as having a terminal illness with a six month or less life expectancy
- Receive care from a Medicare-approved Hospice program
- Execute a statement electing the Hospice benefit and waiving all rights to Medicare payments for services related to treatment of the terminal illness.
Certification that the patient is terminally ill must be placed into the patient’s medical record from both the Hospice Medical Director, or group member, and the patient’s attending physician, for the first 90- day period of coverage. Continued care for one additional 90-day period and unlimited 60-day periods can take place with required face-to-face encounters and appropriate documentation/certification of continued need for Hospice services.
While the largest amount of Hospice care is provided in the home setting, hospice services can also be provided in nursing facilities, hospitals, specialized hospice settings and assisted living facilities. Hospice services are paid for with a daily rate under four different levels of care based on the location and intensity of services provided. Those levels are:
- Routine Home Care
- Continuous Home Care
- Inpatient Respite Care
- General Inpatient Care
With the ever-changing health care industry and the need to treat patients in the appropriate venue of care, Hospice care will play an important role in an organization’s healthcare service delivery system.
To see how Murer Consultants can assist your organization, please contact us at 708-478-7030 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org