Medicare covers these hospice services:??? Doctor services.
??? Nursing care.
??? Medical equipment and supplies.
??? Drugs for pain and symptom relief.
??? Aide and homemaker services.
??? Physical and occupational therapy.
??? Speech-language pathology services.
??? Social worker services.
??? Dietary counseling.
??? Grief and loss counseling.
??? Short-term inpatient care.
??? Short-term respite care (possible co-payment).
??? Other services needed to manage pain and symptoms as determined by hospice providers.
Medicare will cover hospice in 90-day and 60-day periods. A patient may receive hospice care for up to two 90-day periods, followed by unlimited 60-day periods. These benefits periods may occur consecutively or with time between them; regardless of the timing, the patient must be recertified as terminally ill at the onset of each period of treatment. To receive this care, patients must meet the following conditions:
??? They have Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A).
??? The patient???s doctor and the hospice medical director have confirmed that the patient is terminally ill and has six months or less to live.
??? The patient signs a statement choosing hospice care instead of other Medicare-covered services to treat terminal illnesses.
??? The hospice is Medicare-approved.
In terms of costs as of 2011, the patient will pay at most $5 for each prescription drug or pain/symptom control product. The patient will also pay 5 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for inpatient respite care.
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