Aging Options

High Medicare SNF benefit use at the end of life highlights the need to incorporate quality palliative care services in nursing home

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A new report in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that almost one-third of Medicare senior citizens received care in a skilled nursing facility in the last six months of their lives under the Medicare post-hospitalization benefit despite the fact that that kind of care may not be available.  The authors of the study suggest that cost may play a part in the decision.

Although hospice would be the better choice, hospice benefits do not pay for room and board, forcing patients to pay out of pocket or enroll in Medicaid.  The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine says switching patients from Medicare coverage under the SNF benefit to the hospice benefit has financial implications for the patient and for the nursing home.

The report can be found here.

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