Unfortunately, HIV remains a hugely prevalent disease in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 37,832 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with HIV in 2018. Of these diagnoses, 24% were among heterosexual individuals. Hospice care for these individuals can be a great help with financial assistance for HIV patients.
Income inequality has also long been an issue in the U.S. Thus, not every family has the financial means to treat loved ones infected with this immunodeficiency virus. A recent study by science and business media company Springer reveals roughly 137 million Americans have confronted severe hardships when paying medical bills. Another report found 66.5% of all personal bankruptcies relate to healthcare payment struggles.
Victims of HIV/AIDS are typically expected to live just six months or less. Thankfully, hospice care is a great option for those infected with HIV/AIDS, as this type of treatment is inherently comprehensive. Hospice care workers aim to address patients’ psychological and spiritual needs as well.
Here is how hospice can help with handling financial assistance for HIV patients.
Qualified Caseworkers Help Navigate The Paperwork
As with most life-threatening diseases, intensive care usually entails a large amount of paperwork that can quickly become daunting. Fortunately, a team of qualified caseworkers can help guide you through these formalities. Whether you need assistance with forms related to antiretroviral therapy — which involves the use of drugs to prevent the disease’s progression — or Medicare paperwork, these employees are here to help families of patients understand all medical jargon.
Financial Support For Medical Bills
Thankfully, most Medicaid/MediCal and Medicare plans and private insurance companies cover hospice care. Under the Affordable Care Act, you can’t be denied coverage simply because you have a pre-existing condition (like HIV). Additionally, insurers aren’t allowed to set lifetime caps on insurance benefits.
Part A of Medicare deals with the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Over 90% of hospices in the U.S. are Medicare-certified.
Wraparound Social Services During And After
Wraparound social services usually occur in four phases: engagement and team preparation, initial plan development, implementation and transition. Professionals will implement a detailed plan for care and ensure that caseloads are reasonable. Hospice professionals can also provide grief counseling for you after your loved one dies, as virtually nobody can go through the grieving process alone. These types of services can also help you save substantial amounts of money (hundreds or even thousands of dollars) on care at specialized treatment facilities.
Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs
Every sick person has different preferences regarding what helps keep them mentally and physically grounded (aside from their friends and family). For some, this could be a family heirloom like a piece of jewelry or a diary. Therefore, it’s crucial to listen to your loved one’s requests and make him/her feel like he/she is still in a safe environment.
How Harbor Light Hospice Can Help You Today
Speak to the experienced professionals at Harbor Light Hospice to learn more about how you can receive financial assistance for your loved one infected with HIV/AIDS.
Although based in Winfield, Illinois, HLH also serves patients and families in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. In order to qualify for hospice care, patients need to be diagnosed with six months or less to live. HLH’s team of highly-trained professionals includes physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains. They provide 24/7 assistance so that your loved one is always taken care of in the event of an emergency.
In order to begin hospice care, a formal request or “referral” must be made. A hospice care representative can then visit a prospective patient within 48 hours and upon receiving approval from the physician or physician designate. Self-referrals can be accepted in certain situations.
Medicare also often covers many basic services provided as part of hospice care, including nursing services, medication for pain relief and symptom control, equipment like wheelchairs and walkers, supplies like bandages and catheters, speech therapies, social services, nutritional counseling and grief counseling.
Research has demonstrated that hospice care can substantially reduce the likelihood of hospitalization. One study by BMC revealed the least common places of death among 19,739 deceased HIV patients by far were hospice care facilities (3.3-5.7%) and nursing homes (0-17.6%). VITAS Healthcare also found that overall, hospice care patients had much lower rates of hospitalization and ICU admission than their non-hospice counterparts. (42.3% vs 65.1% for hospitalization and 14.8% vs. 35.8% for ICU).
Call HLH today at (630) 682-3871 or contact them online for more information.