Hospice Care While Living In a Nursing Home
By Victor Montour
Some patients with a terminal illness call a nursing home “home”. At Front Range Hospice, we specialize in providing hospice care in the place patients call home. A nursing home or also known as a skilled nursing facility is one of the many places we provide our hospice services to patients. Due to our fantastic reputation and strong relationships with the nursing homes in our service territory we are able to assist families looking to have their love one move into a nursing home, and provide care to residents who already call the nursing home, “home”.
In a nursing home, hospice helps patients, families, and nursing home staff by providing:
- Regular visits by a hospice Registered Nurse to the nursing home.
- Consultations by a specialized hospice physician as needed.
- Expert management of pain and other symptoms, such as problems breathing or swallowing.
- Education for nursing home staff, patients and families about patients’ condition, symptoms, medications, and how to best care for patients’ medical needs during this phase of their illness.
- Emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their family during this phase of life. This includes help for the family before and after the patient dies.
- Provides medications and supplies related to the patient’s terminal illness
- Coordinating the patient’s care and medications across all of the patient’s medical providers, including the patient’s own doctors, hospice doctors, hospice nurses, hospice aides and all nursing home staff.
The nursing home is responsible for:
- Communicating and coordinating patient’s care with the hospice.
- Monitoring the patient’s condition and reporting any changes to the hospice.
- The routine daily care for patients at the nursing home, like eating, bathing and activities.
- Normally scheduled medical care and examinations by the attending physician and medical director.
- Providing medications and supplies for care not related to the patient’s terminal illness.
Things you should know:
I you are looking at moving yourself or a loved one into a nursing home while on hospice there are a few things you need to know to make the transition easier for all of you.
- The hospice benefit does not cover the room and board cost for a nursing home stay. This cost will be the responsibility of the patient or the patient’s family. This cost could start anywhere from $200 to $500 dollars a day or more, depending on the facility you have chosen.
- Most nursing homes will require a 30 day room and board payment be made up front on the day of admission.
- Most secondary insurances do not cover the room and board payment. If you think your plan will cover the room and board cost, you will want to contact the insurance company prior to selecting a nursing home to ensure your selection is within their network of care providers.
- Colorado Medicaid will cover the room and board cost with the patient’s social security income being turned over to the nursing home.
- Turning the patient’s social security over to the nursing home is a Colorado Medicaid requirement, not the nursing homes. Medicaid considers this payment to be the “patient’s liability payment”.
As you might imagine moving someone into a nursing home is not a very easy process. If you would like more information about Front Range Hospice or Hospice Care in a nursing home call 303-957-3101 or 970-776-8080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch out for our next blog: Morphine and Pain