Nursing Home Hospice Care

Hospice care keeps patients comfortable at the end of their lives. This type of care is given in the home, a hospice center, or in a nursing home. However, residents can suffer from nursing home hospice care abuse if staff are reckless or neglectful. Learn about the benefits of hospice care and how to limit the risks of abuse below.

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How Can Hospice Care in Nursing Homes Help My Loved Ones?

Hospice care can help nursing home residents in a variety of ways. Nursing facilities aim for older adults to age with dignity and have the best quality of life possible.

elderly woman in bed holding hands

Nursing homes that have hospice wings take this one step further by providing high-quality care when an older person may be reaching the end of their life. Hospice providers offer palliative care services to ease a patient’s pain.

Hospice caregivers may be a part of the nursing home’s staff or they might be contract caregivers brought in from a nearby program or facility.

The American Hospice Foundation outlines the responsibilities that nursing homes have when providing hospice care.

Some of these duties include:

  • Connecting with hospice caregivers if none are on staff
  • Coordinating care with contracted hospice caregivers and next of kin
  • Providing daily health care and regular check-ups on the resident

“Many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have small hospice units. […] This can be a good option for people who need hospice care but don’t have someone to take care of them at home.”

— American Cancer Society (ACS)

Nursing homes across the country — including ones near you — offer hospice care services for their patients. If hospice aides are assisting at-home patients, they can also offer respite care (caring for a patient while the primary caregivers get a chance to rest).

Hospice Care & Nursing Home Abuse

While hospice care is designed to help residents in the final stages of life, neglectful or abusive staff can cause harm or contribute to a resident’s wrongful death.

Family members may be able to take legal action against hospice nursing home abuse and neglect. By doing so, they can pursue compensation for the harm done.

Your loved one never deserves poor treatment while receiving nursing home hospice care. Get a free case review to start pursuing justice and compensation.

Affording Hospice Care in a Nursing Home

You and your loved ones may be concerned about affording the cost of hospice care. Thankfully, there are many options that can help you pay for nursing home hospice care.

Our team has gathered information on some of those common options below.

Medicare for Nursing Home Hospice Costs

Medicare is available for anyone over the age of 65, or for younger people with disabilities. Nursing home residents who have Medicare often qualify for free hospice care.

“To qualify for hospice care, a hospice doctor and your doctor (if you have one) must certify that you’re terminally ill.”

— Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Medicare pays for many expenses related to hospice care, including methods for symptom management. This includes medical equipment, geriatric services, and other resources.

Social services, care from aides, and counseling for the hospice patient and family are also covered by Medicare.

The American Hospice Foundation notes that the cost of living in a nursing home setting may not be covered by Medicare benefits.

Private Insurance

If you or a loved one do not qualify for Medicare, private insurance may be able to help pay for hospice in assisted living facilities.

For best results, the ACS recommends calling your insurance company to learn what medical care costs (if any) would be covered.

Legal Help for Nursing Home Hospice Care

If you or a loved one suffered from nursing home abuse, compensation from a lawsuit may help you afford hospice treatment.

Nursing home abuse lawsuits can help you:

  • Access compensation to move your loved one to a dedicated hospice facility if needed
  • Afford hospice if your loved one doesn’t have insurance or Medicare
  • Cover past costs of nursing home or hospice care
  • Hold abusive facilities financially accountable for their actions
Steps to Filing a Lawsuit

Other Options

Outside of different insurance options or legal assistance, there are several ways to afford hospice care.

Other options that can help you pay for hospice include:

  • Charities: Patients may be able to afford hospice care through charity grants. Hospice teams can help patients connect with charities.
  • Medicaid: This government program allows people with lower incomes to afford medical services, and it may provide coverage for hospice care. Medicaid hospice benefits include care to relieve symptoms and counseling for the resident and their family.
  • VA Benefits: Veterans may qualify for hospice care as part of their benefits package from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Veterans will not have to pay any co-pays for hospice care provided by the VA.

Nursing home residents and families can also choose to pay for hospice care out of their own pockets.

Nursing Home Hospice Care Abuse

It’s important to understand that hospices provide a high level of care for many people. That said, bad actors exist everywhere — even in hospice settings. In fact, a 2019 study found that 1 in 5 hospice centers had a serious deficiency that could pose harm to patients.

In one case, a patient’s leg had to be amputated after staff neglected to care for an infected wound, leading to gangrene.

Furthermore, several hospice nurses admitted to overmedicating patients so they would die faster, allowing the nurses to receive higher payments from Medicare.

Regular nursing home staff can also commit nursing home hospice care abuse. For example, three nursing home employees were recently arrested after filming a dying resident in a hospice care wing. The employees were swearing and using e-cigarettes as they waited for hospice workers to help the resident.

Reporting Hospice Care Abuse

All hospices must report any possible cases of abuse immediately, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Hospices must also investigate any care violations and take corrective action where necessary.

Nursing home residents and their loved ones also have several options to report hospice care abuse.

You can report nursing home hospice care abuse to:

  • 911 in the event of an emergency
  • Adult Protective Services (APS), an agency that can conduct well-being checks on elders
  • Nursing home ombudsmen, who serve as advocates for residents and work to resolve problems
  • Nursing home abuse lawyers, who can file legal claims and work to obtain compensation on your behalf

If you believe your loved one suffered from hospice care abuse, get a free case review now. Our dedicated legal advocates can evaluate your case in as little as 10 minutes.

Get Help For Hospice & Nursing Home Abuse

Hospice programs are an important option for nursing home residents reaching the end of their lives. Residents can access pain management services, emotional or spiritual support, and high-quality end-of-life care through hospice facilities.

Sadly, nursing home hospice care does not always help residents. Some can suffer serious injuries or even die due to elder neglect and abuse by staff.

Thankfully, you and your family can pursue swift justice right now with our team’s help if abuse or neglect occurred in a hospice facility or nursing home. Legal action can help you recover the money you need to pay for medical treatment and other expenses.

Get a free case review now to start the process.

FAQs on Nursing Home Hospice Care

Can you get hospice care in a nursing home?

Yes, you can get hospice care in a nursing home or another assisted living facility.

Some nursing homes may have dedicated wings or sections for hospice patients. Those that don’t can work with third-party hospice caregivers who will come into the facility and provide care.

Speak to nursing home staff members or an ombudsman if you or a loved one needs to seek hospice care while living in a nursing home. They can help you get the care you need.

Who pays for hospice care in a nursing home?

You can pay for hospice care if you have Medicare or private insurance. Different insurance plans can allow you to afford hospice care at little to no cost.

In some cases, nursing homes themselves may pay for your hospice care. For example, a nursing home abuse lawsuit can force facilities that harmed your loved one to compensate you and your family. You can then use this compensation to afford hospice care and other expenses.

Finally, charities, Medicaid coverage, and VA benefits can all cover hospice care costs.

Our team can help you find ways to pay for hospice care. Call (800) 896-7040 to get started.

Will Medicare pay for hospice care in a nursing home?

Yes. Medicare can often cover hospice care costs for nursing home residents. A wide variety of services are covered as part of Medicare’s hospice benefit including medications, equipment, and counseling.

You deserve justice. Get a free legal case review now.

Author:Nursing Home Abuse Justice Team
Nursing Home Abuse Justice Team

Nursing Home Abuse Justice was founded to shine a light on nursing home and elder abuse. Every day, thousands of people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are abused. Our team helps educate seniors and their loved ones on the common causes, signs and preventions of nursing home abuse. We report on real-world studies and current events from respected news outlets to expose this national problem.

Last modified: November 15, 2021

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  3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). SAFEGUARDS FOR MEDICARE PATIENTS IN HOSPICE CARE. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from https://www.cms.gov/files/document/hospice-fact-sheet-mln2078643.pdf

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