Ask The Expert: This is perhaps the opposite of a long-term care question--mine deals with terminal care: Does my elderly father qualify for hospice care through Medicare?

posted by: Chris Lynch MBA, CLTC, LTCP

--Editor's note: we fielded this question to our friends at Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care, a leading Chicago, Illinois hospice which has worked with Senior Living Expert clients.

Yes, hospice care is a medicare benefit.  The physician can write an order for hospice and a member of the hospice team will meet with the patient and the family and a nurse can evaluate the patient to determine eligibility for hospice.   The hospice representative will help the family apply for hospice care and verify insurance information.  Also, patients and families can meet with a hospice representative to learn more about hospice care without a physician order, but the patient cannot be evaluated at that time.  If the patient and family then decide to pursue hospice care, the hospice representative can obtain a physicians order.

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