Being disqualified from anything can be lousy. Being disqualified from hospice, however, can result in many mixed emotions. But yes, it can happen. However, understanding the role of hospice can help clarify issues of no longer qualifying for hospice care.
Hospice is Not About Giving Up
When many people hear “hospice care,” they immediately assume that someone and their doctors have given up hope. This misconception has led to many attempting to stray as far away from hospice as possible. Hospice is not simply preparing for death (something everyone should be doing regardless of their health condition) but is, instead, a style of care designed for those not expected to survive severe health conditions for the next six months.
Sure, this care is not generally aimed at curative treatment, but that, by no means, should brand it as “giving up hope.” Where hospice differs from curative treatment is that it aims to increase the patient’s quality of life over recovery from the particular ailment — whose treatment can significantly decrease their quality of life, even when a cure is unlikely.
Some People “Graduate” Hospice
Most people enter into hospice care when a doctor determines that they are unlikely to survive their condition for another six months. This time span was largely developed by health insurance companies and Medicare to determine coverage spans, though it is useful by the medical establishment as well.
So, what happens if someone lives longer than six months while in hospice care? If this occurs, the patient is usually reevaluated to determine their continued eligibility for hospice care. Many may have their hospice care stay extended by as much as another six months. Others, however, may “graduate” hospice — being no longer eligible for hospice care either due to a health improvement or because the patient has chosen to discontinue hospice care — either to continue to seek curative treatment or be admitted to another style of care facility, such as a nursing home and the like.
Is it possible to “graduate” hospice care? Yes. While this is the case, this is not the goal of hospice care and does not necessarily mean that the patient will recover or will even experience a better quality of life outside of hospice care. Many graduations are temporary and the patient may ultimately return to hospice care at a later time due to the same condition. Leaving hospice care — either through “graduation,” “live discharge,” or disqualification simply means that hospice care does not best fit the patient’s current condition or desires.
Hospice & Palliative Care to the Greater Tulsa, OK Area
Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care is honored to serve the Tulsa, OK area with the most professional and nurturing services available. You’re invited to learn more about Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care today.