LifeCare Health Services Home Health, Hospice

Hospice & Home Health Qualifications

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For qualified beneficiaries, Medicare pays 100% of allowable charges for our services. Insurance covers our services as well. To qualify for this coverage certain conditions must be met.

Hospice Qualifications

To qualify for hospice, a doctor must certify that a patient needs hospice services and that a patient has a condition that could be life-limiting. Additionally, Medicare will not pay for hospice and curative treatments as the same time. Therefore, patients receiving hospice should be done with their curative treatments at the time. Patients may discharge themselves from hospice at any time to pursue curative treatments again. Hospice services are designed to last up to six months, but can be offered for longer than six months if there is an ongoing need. Unlike home health, hospice patients are not required to be homebound. Also, do-not-resuscitate orders (DNRs) are optional in hospice. Patients may choose to be resuscitated or to have a DNR.

Qualifications: Home Palliative Care, AIM, Home Health

LifeCare delivers AIM (at-home palliative care) under a patient’s home health benefits. To qualify for home health, a patient should have the following:

  • Homebound: Medicare’s definition of homebound is not as strict as the word may seem to imply. People receiving home health may indeed leave the home from time to time, and they can still be considered homebound. A patient must need some sort of help when leaving the home. This may be the help of another person. It could be the help of a device such as a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair. This need for help must be due to illness or injury. Trips away from the home should be difficult and, consequently, infrequent and of short duration.
  • Skilled Need: A need for services that should be delivered by a nurse, physical therapist, or speech/language pathologist. For instance, a patient should need skilled observation & assessment, rehabilitation, wound care, medication reconciliation, or similarly skilled services.
  • Physician Supervision: Your doctor will supervise your care from LifeCare Health Services. We will coordinate directly with your doctor. You need to visit your doctor as indicated before and during home health services.
  • Intermittent Need: Home health is for visits typically lasting 30 minutes or less. Medicare’s home health benefit is not meant to cover hours long visits, with the possible exception of the initial assessment.

If you are thinking about hospice, palliative care, or home health, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions and even visit your home for a free consultation.



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