Hospice care is different from most other types of medical care. The focus is on controlling pain, managing symptoms, and fulfilling emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care helps not just the patient, but also family and loved ones.
Hospice is usually recommended when a patient has a terminal condition and no longer wishes to pursue curative treatments. The focus is on comfort, on maximizing quality of life during a patient’s remaining time, and on a peaceful end to life. Hospice may be a better solution for patients and their loved ones than continued invasive care in a hospital setting. However, a decision to opt for hospice care often raises many questions about end-of-life issues and about what happens after death.
Schomer Law Group is a Los Angeles elder law firm with an understanding of the laws related to hospice care and end-of-life issues. Our attorneys provide compassionate and knowledgeable representation to individuals and families who are considering hospice care. We understand that clients seek our services during a sad time in their lives, and we treat every client with the sensitivity and compassion they deserve. Let us take care of technical legal issues as you focus on a peaceful passing.
Give us a call today or contact us online to learn more about the legal assistance and services we provide when you or a loved one goes to hospice care. Our services are personalized to you, and we’ll also answer questions you may have including:
• What should I know about getting hospice care?
• What legal issues should be addressed while in hospice?
• How can a Los Angeles elder law attorney provide assistance to patients and families when a decision to seek hospice care is made?
What Should I Know About Getting Hospice Care?
Hospice care is covered by the majority of insurance companies, including Medi-Cal (called Medi-Cal in CA) and Medicare. It can be provided within a hospital setting, within other inpatient care settings, or in a private home. There are different levels of care, including:
• Routine care: This typically involves visits to a patient’s home from hospice nurses, social workers, home health aids, and chaplains. There are also nurses on-call 24-seven to provide assistance and support. Insurance generally pays for the visits.
• Inpatient care: Patients can get hospice care in specialized facilities or within standard hospital or healthcare settings. Inpatient care provides more hands-on support. A patient who receives inpatient care may return home for routine care once his condition is stabilized. Insurance typically covers the cost of inpatient treatment, as well as room and board.
• Respite care: If family members are serving as caregivers, respite care can be available to give caregivers a rest. It may be possible for a patient to stay in a hospice residential care center or nursing home for up to five days when respite care is sought. Insurance, including Medi-Cal, will typically cover this.
• Continuous care: If patients have medical conditions which need continuous monitoring, round-the-clock care can be arranged in a home, hospital or hospice setting.
It is imperative for patients and their families to determine both what level of care is necessary and what level of care will be covered by insurers. If there is disagreement over coverage issues, an elder law attorney can help.
What Legal Issues Should be Addressed While in Hospice?
A patient who has chosen hospice and who has a serious condition will need to be prepared for end of life issues and should take special steps to ensure families are protected after death.
One of the most important legal issues to address while a patient is in hospice relates to the type of emergency medical care desired. Many people in hospice do not want extraordinary measures taken to extend their life. They should create a living will or advanced directive to make this clear. A Los Angeles elder law attorney can help.
Because hospice is chosen to help with a peaceful passage, rather than to continue a quest for a cure, it is also imperative those who decide on hospice should ensure their last will and testament is in order and should consider whether any other estate planning measures may be necessary to avoid estate taxes and appropriately provide for heirs. An attorney can assist in determining if the patient is of sound mind and can provide help drafting an effective estate plan.
How Can a Los Angeles Hospice Law Attorney Help?
An attorney in Los Angeles focused on the needs of hospice patients can help patients and their family members. Our legal team can take care of all of the legal issues raised by the decision to go into hospice. If you’re ready to get started, our experienced attorneys are ready to assist you. Give us a call today!