Hospice in the Home and Home Health Care
If an individual was recovering from an illness and needed continued support at home, what type of care would be needed? Home Health Care (HHC) focuses on patient rehabilitation and traditional medical management. With HHC, the patient, family, or friends are educated and trained how to care for the patient at home with anticipation of recovery. Hospice focuses on the quality of life and patient comfort. Hospice care is meant for the time when treatment can no longer help, and there is no expectation of recovery. The focus of Hospice is pain and symptom management as well as support services providing counseling and education to the patient and family. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for services that Home Health Care Agencies provide. Payment from these sources depends on whether the care is medically necessary and the individual meets specific coverage criteria. Individuals may opt to pay out of pocket for services that are not covered by other sources. Some agencies receive special funding from state and local governments and community organizations to cover the costs of needed care when other options are not available. To qualify for home care services, the individual must have a skilled need and must be homebound in order for Medicare, and most insurance to pay for care. Coverage for hospice care is available through Medicare and Medicaid programs in 38 states, and most private insurance plans. (Wright, 1999) If insurance coverage is insufficient or unavailable, the patient and his or her family may pay for services out of pocket. Most hospices may provide free services to individuals who have limited or no financial resources. Hospice covers medications related to the terminal illness and symptoms, where home health usually does not cover medications. Hospice covers usual and customary medical supplies and equipment, such as: beds, commodes, walkers, wheelchairs etc., where home health...
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