What Diagnosis Qualify for Hospice Care


What Diagnosis Qualify for Hospice Care

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Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Frank Davis

For compassionate, dignified end-of-life care for you or your loved one, hospice is a caring and supportive environment where you can live out the rest of your days in peace. Hospice providers can be found in most states and they offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of each individual and their loved ones.

But what exactly qualifies a patient for hospice? How can you tell if it might be time to talk to a doctor about this option? We have the answers here.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is a program designed to palliate, or ease the symptoms of serious diseases, such as cancer. Hospice care focuses on treating the patient’s pain, symptoms and stress while also comforting them emotionally. A physician must certify the patient has less than six months to live before they qualify for hospice care. Once certification is granted, the hospice can provide services such as in-home nursing care, home health aides and equipment such as hospital beds and wheelchairs for the patient’s comfort and convenience.

What diagnosis qualify for hospice care?

Hospice care is the best option when a person knows they have terminal illness. Hospice care helps manage pain, maintain a person’s dignity and improve their quality of life in their final days. Medicare covers hospice services with all diagnosis when the patient has been certified by a doctor to have less than six months to live.

There are no hospice programs available for patients with non-terminal illnesses; however, if the patient’s physician believes the patient may only live six months or less, he can request Medicare to cover hospice care. The patient’s physician will conduct tests to determine the patient’s prognosis.

Diagnosis that qualify for hospice care:

All terminal illnesses can qualify for hospice care. The patient may have a specific diagnoses, such as cancer, or they might have more than one disease at the same time, such as cancer and heart disease. Hospice care is not available to people with non-terminal conditions, but it will cover the cost if the patient’s physician believes he or she has less than six months to live.

Further Reading:
Hospice Care vs Home Health Care: What's the Difference

How can you tell if it might be time to talk to a doctor for hospice?

Some people might be hesitant to talk to their doctors about hospice—they might be afraid of how it will affect their life expectancy or they might believe that once they talk to a doctor about hospice, it will mean they only have a short time left. But for most people, elderly and terminally ill, talking to a doctor about hospice is the first step towards getting the help and services needed.

Here are some signs that it may be time to talk with your doctor about hospice:

-You have less than six months to live. The doctor will review your medical records and test results to determine how long you have to live.

-You are bedridden or unable to care for yourself because of your illness or treatment plan. The medications you take might also cause loss of appetite or pain that makes it difficult to eat. In this case, you might be able to qualify for hospice if you have any other underlying diseases that limit your quality of life even further.

-You have a terminal illness and pain management is becoming increasingly difficult for your medical team to manage. Hospice care is the next step after palliative (comfort) care and pain management; hospice helps manage symptoms such as sleep disturbances, anxiety or agitation, shortness of breath, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, constipation and pain.

-You or your family members are suffering from the stress of managing your terminal illness. Hospice caregivers can help reduce stress and anxiety, both for you and for your loved ones, so the whole family can enjoy their time together.

-You want to die at home. Hospice care lets you die in familiar surroundings among loved ones instead of in a hospital or other facility that may be unfamiliar or scary.

-Your doctor determines that you are experiencing severe or uncontrolled depression or loneliness because of your illness or treatment plan. The hospice program can provide support groups, pet therapy, bereavement and grief counseling, and help you eat and exercise so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle as part of your hospice care.

Further Reading:
What to do if someone stops eating or drinking

When to request hospice care

It’s never too early to request hospice care. If your doctor believes you will live six months or less, he can authorize the hospice program to provide services for you. However, this doesn’t mean you will necessarily use all of the services available; it depends on what your needs are at the time. Hospice care also isn’t just for people who have a specific diagnoses, such as cancer—anyone who is living with a terminal illness can request hospice care for comfort and support when they or their family members need it most.

Conclusion

So, what diagnosis qualify for hospice care? All terminal illnesses can qualify for hospice care. Generally speaking, doctors would only recommend this type of hospice services once they have diagnosed you with less than six months to live. However, if you or your family members are suffering from the stress of managing your terminal disease—or if you are unable to manage your own medical needs—consult with your doctor about hospice care. He can refer you to a hospice provider for an evaluation.

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Author: Frank Davis

After working in the healthcare field for over ten years, Frank Davis has developed considerable expertise and offers you valuable insights into the industry through blogs. He has published blogs for Hospice Valley, Senior Home Care, and 24 Hour Care, and in his leisure time, Frank enjoys reading and writing.

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