What to ExpectAlternative Hospice
What to Expect with Hospice Care
When you are looking into hospice care, either for yourself or a loved one, it can feel overwhelming. How will the service be covered financially? Am I or my loved one eligible for hospice care? Our dedicated, caring team at Alternative Hospice aims to make the process simple for patients and families, acting as your medical, emotional, and spiritual support.
Review our information below regarding financial coverage for hospice care, as well as our typical eligibility requirements. However, the best way to get the answers to the questions you have is to contact us directly and we will be happy to guide you through our process.
What You Pay for Hospice Care
Hospice services are covered by Medicare and most private insurances. The hospice benefit is comprehensive, meaning that services, medications, and equipment related to the patient’s hospice diagnosis are covered.
Costs that are Not Covered
Generally, Medicare, and private insurance will not pay for:
- Treatment – including medications, equipment, and supplies – for conditions unrelated to the life-limiting illness.
- Care unrelated to the primary hospice diagnosis; Medicare A/B will continue to provide patients their routine benefits including physician visits.
- Care from physicians or other health care providers that is not set up by hospice.
- Room and board if you live in a nursing home or in a hospice residential facility.
- Ambulance transportation, unless arranged by your hospice medical team.
Patients with any terminal diagnosis are eligible for hospice, including but not limited to patients who have:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Liver Disease
- Lung Disease
- Neurological Disease
- Renal Disease
The general eligibility criteria for hospice care are:
- The patient and family’s philosophy of care is to focus on comfort rather than curative treatments
- The patient has a prognosis of six months if the disease runs its normal course
- The patient’s physician and the hospice medical director confirm the prognosis
Hospice care can continue beyond six months if the patient continues to meet eligibility requirements. Please note that commercial insurance may have different eligibility criteria, so be sure to confirm coverage.
At the initial visit, our hospice team will evaluate the patient’s clinical status, symptoms, laboratory results, Karnofsky score and other factors to determine if the patient is eligible.