If you are elderly or have parents or loved ones who are – this story in today’s on online WSJ may be more helpful to you than you think.
Up until now Medicare’s policy was that if you are seriously ill you MUST choose between “curative treatment” and “hospice.” Stated differently if you and or your family are exhausted from caring for an elderly and sick loved one you had to give up on any chance of being healed and resign yourself to death to get the comfort and benefits that hospice services offer.
As the WSJ point out perhaps this is why only 45% of people on Medicare take advantage of the many wonderful and fully covered hospice programs available to them. Who wants to give up hope to get better care in the short run?
With this change a person who is seriously ill and requires the significant level of care that hospice offers can choose to receive hospice care and STILL get the medicines or other treatments that might miraculously save their life.
I hope that you can open this link. I tried Google and did not come up with anyone else who had covered this story.
Please let me know if you have any questions. As you may know Marty and I regularly visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospice. Up to now the mere mention of the word “hospice” was “forbotten.” Everyone has to go outside the room just to talk about it. it was like signing a death sentence. I think this is an excellent change.
Finally, allow me to say two other things. Hospice does wonderful work. I mean really first rate, professional and caring service – and it is covered by Medicare. There is now no reason for anyone not to consider hospice. Nor is there much reason for anyone to donate money to hospice because they are making a profit off the Medicare coverage.