Extending the Promise of Hospice Care Even More
Terminally ill patients and their families require a great deal of hands-on care and support throughout the end-of-life journey — on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. There are times when a patient’s physical condition in particular warrants more care than what the Medicare hospice benefit — continuous home care — covers.
Medicare defines continuous home care as nursing care, provided on a continuous basis, for anywhere from eight hours to as many as 24 hours in a day. To be covered by Medicare, continuous home care requires 51 percent of those hours of care are delivered by an RN while the other 49 percent are delivered by an RN, LPN, or nurses’ assistant. The purpose of continuous home care is to manage acute medical symptoms during brief periods of crisis and only as necessary to maintain the patient at home.
But what happens in those situations where hospice patients could use more care? What options can health care professionals offer patients in making end-of-life care choices?
“When a patient’s health declines and they come closer to the end of their life, we believe they deserve more. More support, more time, and more attention,” says Perry Farmer, founder of Crossroads Hospice. “Often times what Medicare covers is not adequate and going above and beyond becomes necessary.”
From the compassion, conviction, and commitment for providing the most care possible for terminally ill patients, Evenmore Care© was born. This Crossroads Hospice program is unique in the hospice industry in that it ensures all hospice patients’ needs are met, regardless of how much time it takes, whether or not it is Medicare covered — and at any time when a patient is on hospice service.
When a hospice nurse recognizes a change in a patient’s condition, such as a symptom that motivates him or her to keep a closer eye on the situation, Evenmore Care can be ordered. The worrisome symptom might be a fever, cough, nausea, pain, or something else that requires special attention. Evenmore Care can also be initiated when a patient’s death is imminent. In addition to meeting physical needs, the program can be put into action to provide emotional support for the families through the guidance of chaplains and bereavement counselors.
Physical symptoms can change without warning. Evenmore Care can be ordered at any time and provided around the clock for a few hours or longer as needed. Structured staffing is part of the Crossroads Hospice philosophy and this enable the team to see every patient every day. The type and levels of care provided can be customized depending on what is most needed. Hospice aides, chaplains, social workers, and nurses can be called in depending on the individual’s situation. Because patients are seen daily by Crossroads Hospice staff, the attended-death rate is 80 percent, compared to the average industry standard of 20-25 percent.
Although chaplains, social workers, and bereavement counselors are not covered by Medicare for continuous home care, Crossroads believes in utilizing whatever staff is necessary to benefit patients and their families at a time when it is most needed and appreciated.
“It is important to us that patients know we’re there to support them and walk this journey with them,” says Farmer. “We are able to do more, be more, and bring more to patients and families at a time when they need it most. That is the Evenmore Care promise.”
If you need more information on Evenmore Care, please call us at 888-564-3405 or visit our website.
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