BEDFORD, N.H. – The Compassus program, formerly Life Choice Hospice, serving Bedford and the surrounding communities recognizes National Hospice and Palliative Care Month this November. This month focuses on raising awareness about the highest quality care for all people coping with life-limiting illnesses.
Hospice provides patients and families with an additional layer of support to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs while palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness.
“Hospice delivers quality, compassionate care to more than 1.65 million people each year,” said Michele Martino, RN, CHPN, executive director for Compassus – Greater Manchester. “With greater awareness, better understanding and more open dialogue, we hope to bring quality hospice care to more people who need and qualify for services.”
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization studies have found that eight out of 10 Americans would prefer in-home care if facing a life-limiting illness, yet many people remain unaware that hospice care is a choice available to them.
Medicaid and private insurance will often cover hospice expenses as a benefit to their members. Any patient facing a serious medical condition that is not improving under optimal treatment should talk with his or her doctor and insurance provider about hospice care options
Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare will begin paying physicians to discuss advance care planning with patients starting next year. During these discussions, patients have the opportunity to express their wishes about the medical care they are to receive in the event they are unable to speak for themselves due to illness or injury.
“Every person deserves to enjoy quality end-of-life care. We have a responsibility as physicians to educate patients and their families about pain control and symptom management when curative medicine is no longer working,” continued Martino. “With the new CMS ruling, we expect that more people will take control of the type of care they receive and when they receive it.”
Throughout the month of November, Compassus – Greater Manchester will be joining organizations across the nation to recognize how important hospice and palliative care can be.
For more information about National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, visit www.nhpco.org.
For information about Compassus – Greater Manchester, please call (603) 606-7974.