Hospice is Affordable
Who Pays for Hospice Care?
Hospice of the Foothills works with patients and families to determine hospice benefit eligibility through: Medicare, Medi-Cal and Private Insurance. Hospice of the Foothills bills the patient’s insurance carrier directly for hospice services and receives a per diem rate to provide comprehensive hospice care services.
Hospice of the Foothill provides hospice care based upon need rather than ability to pay. We rely on community support through donations to assist us in fulfilling our mission to provide compassionate hospice care to all patients, their families and the community.
Who pays for Room and Board?
Room and Board at our Compassionate Care Home is the patient’s responsibility when a hospice patient is on routine level of care. Also, non–hospice patients with a life-limiting diagnosis who are on supportive care are responsible for their daily room and board fees. Hospice patients on general in-patient level of care (GIP) or respite level of care are not charged a room and board fee as the per diem insurance reimbursement for these care levels is inclusive of room and board.
Room and board fees at the Compassionate Care Home are similar to the private room rates found in local skilled nursing and residential care facilities.
What is covered?
Hospice services in most insurance plans include all of the following:
- Visits by the hospice team (routine care)
- Medications related to the hospice diagnosis
- Durable medical equipment*
- Medical supplies*
- Routine Care
- Respite Care
- Inpatient Care
- Continuous/Crisis Care
- Bereavement services
- Physical, speech and occupational therapy*
*Coverage may vary by insurance carrier.
Medical care provided by the patient’s attending physician and services not related to the hospice diagnosis, if needed, are handled under the patient’s regular insurance plan.
What’s not included
Hospice insurers, including Medicare, don’t pay for round-the-clock home nursing. In addition, experimental treatments, clinical trials or other medical services aimed at curing the disease are not covered. Funeral services are also not covered by hospice.
With many diagnoses, it can be very difficult to predict life expectancy. Too often, because of this uncertainty, people are not referred to hospice care early enough and receive just weeks or even days of care. In reality, there is no penalty for under estimating prognosis in hospice care. Initially a physician certifies that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less, if the disease follows its normal course. As long as the patient is re-certified by the hospice team and medical director, he/she remains eligible for hospice, even when it exceeds the six month time period.