Thursday, September 10, 2009
Medicare and Hospice
Mike has been on hospice since September. If you've been following my blog, you will remember that right before his last hospitalization, hospice was going to "discharge" him because they felt he was too "stable". I've found that it's the most dreaded word in hospice care. I have looked into another hospice agency and will be working to have him switched, but when speaking to their rep., they said they may have done the same thing, because of Medicare guidelines. While Mike is bedridden, incontinent, does not speak, needs all his foods pureed, and assistance eating those foods - Medicare will NOT cover him if they feel he is doing TOO WELL. Is it me, or does anyone else see anything wrong with that statement???? Do they consider Mike's health "too good" for the extra services needed to provide care for his delicate health? The new hospice rep. mentioned that Medicare does allow leniency for certain cancer patients. That's good to know, because ANYONE in such poor health that hospice would be needed, deserves the care they get. My question is, why don't Alzheimer patients get the same consideration? This disease is a roller coaster ride to say the LEAST. Mike was given Last Rites 2 years ago, yet he is still here with us. One day he can do really well, another not so good. More than any other disease, Alzheimer's Disease is THE MOST unpredictable. Medicare guidelines need to change in order to accommodate the ups and down and unknowns that Alzheimer patients experience. If exceptions can be made for one illness, why not for another?