Hospice Benefits for the Hospice Medicare Cost Report
Sometimes in the course of reviewing hospice cost report information, it becomes useful to review the basis for hospice reimbursement. The purpose of this post is to provide a quick summary about the nature of hospice benefits.
What is hospice?
Hospice care is a benefit provided under Medicare Part A for patients deemed terminally ill.
What is the definition of terminally ill?
Terminally ill patients are those who have a life expectancy of 6 or months or less if the illness runs its normal course. For example, heart disease and malignancies may be sufficient for certifying a patient eligible for hospice care (source: Hospice Diagnoses).
What does the hospice patient forego?
Generally, a patient electing hospice services foregoes the ability to seek treatment for services related to the hospice stay, except for services provided by the hospice directly or under arrangement, or by the patient’s attending physician. See: Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 9, section 10.
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