Hospice in the Nursing Home
What is hospice care?
Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on quality of life, pain management, and comfort. People receiving hospice care are often told they have six months or less before death. Hospice providers can take care of patients in their home, a hospital, an inpatient facility, or a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home.
Hospice Care in a Nursing Home
If hospice care is given in a nursing home, the hospice providers and the facility will work together (and with the patient and loved ones) and agree upon a plan of care.
Hospice care uses an interdisciplinary approach. This means team members from many fields work together to give well-rounded care (for example, the team could include nurses, doctors, aides, social workers, a chaplain, etc.). This type of care is used to support and improve end-of-life for the patient. The hospice team works closely with the patient's providers as well as the facility's care team.
Hospice care is covered by insurance, including:
- Skilled services such as nursing and physical therapy if they are for comfort care and pain management.
- Medications to help the patient stay comfortable.
- Durable medical equipment (hospital bed, commode) and most supplies.
Room and board charged by the nursing home are often not covered under the nursing home/hospice agreement. Be sure to ask the nursing home and hospice team about out-of-pocket costs for room and board at the facility.
No matter where a patient is being treated while on hospice, they must meet certain requirements for insurance coverage. If eligible, services are covered under Medicare Part A, Medicaid, or private insurance depending on your insurance coverage. Talk with your social worker about options for hospice in a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
Bhatnagar M, Lagnese KR. Hospice Care. [Updated 2023 Mar 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537296/
American Cancer Society. What is Hospice Care? [Updated May 10, 2019]. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/end-of-life-care/hospice-care/what-is-hospice-care.html