General News/Information

Hospice Medicare Benefit

Coping with a terminal illness can be a difficult enough experience without having to worry about pain management, medication costs, and assistance with caregiving. Surprisingly, many Medicare beneficiaries are unaware that Medicare’s all-inclusive Hospice Benefit is available to assist dying patients and their families with these issues at the end of life. Hospice care offers a team-oriented approach to medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to the dying patient’s needs and wishes. For patients who qualify, Medicare will pay for this kind of comprehensive end-of-life care delivered at home or in a hospice facility. The Medicare benefit includes many services not generally covered by Medicare and more than 90 percent of the more than 2,500 hospices in the United States are certified by Medicare.

Medicare Hospice Benefit Information

Choosing hospice care is a difficult decision. The information in this booklet and support from a doctor and trained hospice care team can help you choose the most appropriate health care options for someone who’s terminally ill. This official government booklet for Medicare hospice benefits includes information about:
  • Who is eligible for Hospice care
  • What services are included
  • How to find a Hospice program
  • Where to get more information.
Hospice Federal Conditions of Participation (CoPs)
The CoPs are the health and safety requirements that all hospices are required to meet. They are a flexible framework for continuous quality improvement in hospice care and reflect current standards of practice. These include information on:
  • Hospice eligibility, election and duration of benefits
  • Patient care and patient rights
  • Covered services
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent, nonpartisan legislative branch agency that provides the U.S. Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program. Established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the Commission’s statutory mandate is quite broad. In addition to advising the Congress on payments to private health plans participating in Medicare and providers in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program, MedPAC is also tasked with analyzing access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare.