Here is something that happened to me earlier this year…
I am sitting by my mother’s bedside in her hospital room. I’m holding her hand, but she doesn’t even know I’m here.
My brother and I have just decided to do hospice care for Mom.
Two weeks before, she was doing great — I even hosted her 99th birthday party. Then I received the call no child wants to get: She had fallen, suffered a stroke and two brain bleeds, and was on her way to the hospital by ambulance.
Several days later, when there was no improvement in her condition, we reluctantly selected hospice care. Chris, my mother’s new hospice nurse, is now suggesting that we move her to their free-standing hospice facility. It’s a nicer environment for her last days, plus it’s closer to my house. It seems like a logical solution.
I then ask Chris, “Will Medicare pay for the hospice facility?” He assures me that it will. Several minutes later, I repeat the question, and he again says yes. (Thank goodness, I had witnesses both times when I asked.)
The next day, Mom is moved by ambulance to the hospice facility. When my husband and I arrive, Paul, the hospice nurse greets us at my mother’s bedside.
Everything is proceeding smoothly… until we have this conversation about payment.
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