A recent story in the Los Angeles Times explained how medical costs actually increase for the terminally ill who leave hospice care. According to the research, this price increase is primarily attributable to emergency room and intensive care unit visits that those who leave hospice care frequently require. The article pointed out that this is particularly important due to the fact that patients who pass away in a hospital setting endure more physical and emotional distress than those who pass away while receiving hospice care in their home.
Hospice is certainly not for everybody, as it is primarily aimed at palliative, not curative, care. But as the Los Angeles Times piece pointed out, hospice has its advantages, namely that it may provide better comfort to terminally ill patients, while also saving costs. As to whether an individual is ready for hospice care, this is a question that only a medical professional should answer. As to obtaining affordable health care, however, be that with hospice care or another long-term health care alternative, people should begin preparing to accomplish this goal early.
Arizona Medicaid is one option that can help make long-term health care more affordable for qualifying seniors. And, hospice is among the services in the continuum of care that ALTCS/Medicaid covers. This means that an ALTCS member may begin receiving care in the home, and later switch to hospice care if her health deteriorates. Because ALTCS/Medicaid is only available to those who meet strict eligibility requirements, some people may have to engage in ALTCS planning to qualify. ALTCS planning varies from person to person, as ALTCS eligibility is determined by a fact specific inquiry that focuses primarily on health, resources and income. To help sort all of this out, Arizona Medicaid applicants should work with an Elder Law attorney who is familiar with ALTCS/Medicaid.