Am I Eligible for Hospice Care?
Eligibility for hospice care generally follows the requirements established by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These guidelines include some specific criteria, though they are not intended to replace the judgement of a medical professional.
Perhaps the most well-known of the guidelines is that a patient is eligible for care if the normal course of their illness means that they have less than six months. However, a completely accurate medical assessment is nearly impossible, so physicians have some discretion in making a recommendation for hospice.
Many patients remain in hospice care for longer than six months, so it is recommended that patients and caregivers talk with their doctors about their options early.
From the standpoint of medical care, hospice is viewed as treating the individual rather than treating the disease. For this reason, patients in hospice care will typically no longer receive treatments designed to improve or stop their disease. Instead, the focus will be on providing the highest quality of life for the time remaining.
Talk To Your Doctor About Hospice
Talking with your doctor about hospice care can be difficult. Our article, The Discussion: Speaking With Your Doctor About Hospice Care, offers some guidance.
The team at Shining Light Hospice Care can help you evaluate eligibility and provide guidance for starting the process of obtaining hospice care.