How to Qualify for In-Home Hospice Care

happy woman with her nurse after qualifying for in home hospice

If you or a loved one is suffering from a terminal illness or nearing end-of-life, you may be wondering what factors qualify someone as eligible for hospice care. The eligibility criteria for hospice are generally determined by a hospice team and the patient’s doctor.

How to Qualify for In-Home Hospice Care

In-home hospice care may be an option for those who need end-of-life care but do not want to stay in a hospital. To qualify for in-home hospice care, you must meet the same criteria as you would for inpatient hospice.

Obtain a Certificate of Illness (COI)

To qualify for hospice care, the patient must receive a signed certificate of illness (COI) indicating a prognosis of six months or less. The COI must include all pertinent medical information, such as diagnosis and symptoms. 

Families can request a COI in the comfort of the home through Unique Hospice’s team, which includes evaluating the patient’s condition, diagnosis, medical records, and health history. After this process, the hospice team will evaluate with the help of a physician team whether the applicant is eligible, and the physician will sign a verified COI.

Ensure That the Patient Will Obtain Services at Home

To qualify for in-home hospice, the patient must have a stable place to call home, which may also include an assisted living facility, a group home, a nursing home, or another location. Hospice providers may also evaluate the patient’s environment to ensure that it can accommodate the necessary medical needs and equipment, as well as adequately provide comfort.

Choose Comfort Over Curative Intentions

While following through with the application and qualification process, both the patient and family members need to acknowledge that hospice care is about providing comfort and managing symptoms rather than seeking a cure for the illness. Often, a statement will need to be signed by all associated parties to approve the focus on creating easement during end-of-life rather than curing diseases.

What Happens to Hospice Patients After Six Months?

If the patient’s condition improves and their prognosis extends beyond six months, then hospice care can be discontinued. However, once a patient is enrolled in hospice care, they are still eligible to re-enroll for an additional six months as long as the eligibility criteria are still met.

What Happens After Hospice Qualification?

Once the application process is complete and the patient is deemed eligible for hospice care, a hospice care plan will be developed and tailored to meet their individual needs. This plan will include all necessary steps needed to improve comfort and quality of life, while also allowing them to remain in their own home with around-the-clock support from dedicated hospice team members.

How Unique Hospice Can Help Your Family

Unique Hospice is committed to providing compassionate, individualized care and support for each of our patients and their families. Our team will work with you through the entire qualification process, from obtaining a COI to creating an individualized hospice plan tailored to meet your needs. Reach out to us today by contacting us online or calling (626)-335-7077 today.

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