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Topic Hospice requirements Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By JaneB1943 On 2012.01.07 12:39
My husband has a form of Parkinsonism that has resulted in severe cervical and spinal dystonia. He is still able to walk with the aid of a rolling walker. I'm trying to get him placed in a hospice program, but I was told yesterday by the social worker that Medicare regulations require him to not be "walking." Does anyone know specifically what the Medicare requirements are, and what is their definition of non-ambulatory?

By susger8 On 2012.01.09 08:04
That's a new one on me.

My mom had hospice at the end of her life -- she had cancer, not PD. She could walk a bit. I don't know if there are different requirements for different diseases.

I thought that what qualified a person for hospice is when their doctor states that they are expected to live less than 6 months.

Sorry not be be more helpful!


By lurkingforacure On 2012.01.09 09:56
With my mom (no PD, but several other health issues), I was told the same 6-months to live line but also learned that they can qualify if they are in what is called "terminal decline". My mom was, although I didn't want to see it. The hospice lady told me no one really knows, obviously, when someone is going to pass away but they have some good indications and of course years of data to go on. The terminal decline for us was not eating much, increased weight loss, loss of function after her falls (this really equates to loss of independence, she could do less herself and needed more and more help) and then the mental issues, which we had never had until they started using "anti-anxiety" drugs, which made her worse cognitively, but I won't go into all of that.

I had never heard of this term but apparently hospice uses it when they can't pinpoint a particular medical dx to put on the form but the patient is clearly not improving. I also learned you cannot be in a rehab facility trying to do physical therapy (which means you are working on getting better) and hospice (which means you are not going to get better) at the same time.

By lvmymom On 2012.01.09 20:48
There are over 5,000 different hospice programs in the United States. You might want to look at another hospice program in your area that fits the end-of-life care your husband needs.

Good luck.

By susger8 On 2012.01.10 07:31
I forgot to say that the hospice people were wonderful, and I think it's a great program that is underused.


By JaneB1943 On 2012.01.10 16:47
I agree hospice is a wonderful program, but it appears we are going to have to wait a while to get my huband accepted into it. He still insists on using his walker, even though he falls frequently. I'm not at the point, yet, of playing the bad guy and insisting that he will have to use a wheelchair at least 90% of the time. Thank you to those who responded.

By Pearly4 On 2012.01.10 18:20
Hospice care can be provided by any number of different organizations - hospitals, nursing homes, visiting nurse services, home care services and Hospice organizations. The rules for qualification may greatly depend on which you choose and a phone call to one of the others may give you different qualification rules.

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