FAQ

Hospice services are often covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and by many private insurance providers. At Hospice of Eastern Idaho, no one is turned away because of inability to pay. We can assist you in figuring out eligibility for the patient. As the area’s only non-profit Hospice, we gladly accept donations to cover uninsured patient care.

The Medicare hospice benefit requires you have a Medicare part A benefit (which is the program that pays for hospice care) which has been activated. If you are a non-working spouse, you may be eligible to draw Medicare under your working spouse’s number.
Patients residing in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility may receive hospice care. The patient is responsible to the facility for room and board. Medicaid recipients remain eligible to have Medicaid pay for room and board charges, less any patient liability amount.

Patients residing in a skilled nursing facility for short term rehabilitative services (commonly referred to as the “100 day” benefit) under Medicare Part A cannot receive both benefits at the same time for the same diagnosis. Often, a patient will use the 100 day rehabilitation benefit, and then, if appropriate, seek hospice care. Hospice may be involved when the patient is on their 100 Medicare days if the reason for hospice is different than the Medicare diagnosis. If financially able, or not in physical shape for rehabilitation, they may forego the 100 day benefit, pay the facility room and board themselves, and enter hospice care.
If there is a hospice in the area where you are moving, you can choose to transfer services to another Hospice. There is no loss of benefits and no need to start a new claim, providing you sign up with the new hospice within 2 days of leaving our care.

The Medicare hospice benefit requires you have a Medicare part A benefit (which is the program that pays for hospice care) which has been activated. If you are a non-working spouse, you may be eligible to draw Medicare under your working spouse’s number.
At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all the patient’s care options, including hospice. Most hospices accept patients who have an estimated life expectancy of six months or less and who are referred by their physician.

Hospice care is most effective in pain control and family support services when it is utilized over several months. We recommend that when further medical intervention for curative treatment will not prolong the patient’s life, hospice should be contacted so that we may explain the benefits of hospice to the patient and family.
Any person whose attending physician (or hospice Medical Director) will certify that with the normal course of the disease, it will likely result in a terminal outcome within six months. Although the initial period of eligibility is six months, the patient can be re-certified by their attending physician or hospice Medical Director for ongoing periods of eligibility in 60-day increments. Should the patient improve and no longer need hospice care, they can be discharged. The benefit can be resumed at any time the patient again becomes medically eligible.
One of the greatest barriers to receiving hospice care is the inability of the patient and physician to discuss the need for hospice. Studies have found that even when further curative measures will be futile, most people view hospice as “giving up,” when it is actually utilizing the last months of one’s life to the fullest. We encourage anyone with a terminal illness to bring up the subject of hospice with their physician, or to call us for further information or a free consultation.

If your physician would like more information about hospice, we can visit his/her office directly, or we would be happy to send out information upon request.
Yes. If the patient’s condition improves and the disease goes into remission, patients can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive therapy or return to their daily life. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare and most private insurance will allow additional coverage for this purpose.
No, but the focus is on the treatment of symptoms and pain management rather than cure.
Hospice care can be provided in your home or a family member’s, a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living facility. To receive hospice at home, however, there must be someone available to act as your caregiver on a 24/7 basis when you can no longer care for yourself. If you do not have a caregiver, we can try to help you find an alternative caregiving solution. For short term in-patient admission HEI is contracted with local facilities.
No. Hospice care allows hope for patients to live their lives more fully, and with aggressive pain and symptom management until the end of their lives.

Studies have found that it is possible that patients may live longer with hospice than they would in a traditional hospital setting. While it is not known whether this is a response to better pain control, or if it is simply that the patient remains more actively involved in day to day living or home-like setting, it is a phenomenon seen often by hospice personnel.
No. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Hospice care provides symptom management and pain control during the natural process.
No. While some churches and religious groups have started hospices, hospices serve a broad community and do not require patients to adhere to any one set of beliefs.
Home Health is used while still seeking a cure, Hospice is used when treating symptoms to provide comfort and provide extra support for the family/loved ones. Home Health cannot provide Medicare covered hospice services such as beds, oxygen, commodes etc., drugs for pain and symptom control, inpatient care for family respite, bereavement support, volunteer availability, or hospice continuity of care. While many of the services that hospice offers, such as bathing or light housekeeping are similar to Home Health, there are significant differences in pain and symptom management.

We are happy to assist in clarifying the benefits of each.
Feel free to use the contact form below if you have any questions not answered here, or would like to contact us for further information.