Home Hospice : Home Care of the Dying Patient

Introduction Road Sign


Many people at the end-of-life are being referred to hospice care too late or not at all. National Hospice Foundation research on end-of-life care found that Americans:

  1. Are more willing to talk about safe sex and drugs with their children than to discuss end-of-life issues with their terminally ill parents.
  2. Only 24% of Americans put into writing how they want to be cared for at the end-of-life and 19%, have not thought about end-of-life care at all, while 16% have thought about it, but not told anyone their wishes.
  3. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) estimate that for every one hospice patient, there are two more who could benefit from hospice services even though the Medicare Hospice Benefit guarantees comprehensive high-quality end-of-life care – at little or no cost – to America’s terminally ill Medicare beneficiaries and their families.

This module will discuss eligibility criteria, disease specific admission criteria, Medicare reimbursement, and death pronouncement for patients who have hospice support for end-of-life care in their home.

Learning Objectives  After completing this module you will be able to:

  1. Identify and support patient preference for care in the home at the end of life.
  2. Discuss admission criteria to home hospice for common diagnoses.
  3. State advantages of the home hospice benefit under Medicare.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to find a home hospice via the Internet anywhere in the country.
  5. Describe the rules for reimbursement for home visits under Medicare.
  6. Describe the rules regarding death pronouncement, coroner and funeral home notification for patients dying at home.
  7. Find key reference sources both on the Internet and in print for palliative care.


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