The federal government always advertises to our senior citizens that Medicare will cover their most of their health care needs as aging occurs. What they do not tell seniors is they (government) are working diligently to reduce access to home health, hospices, physicians and other Medicare providers. They have several methods to reduce access by reducing payments for services, denying claims, denying hospital “admitting”, and adding new rules and regulations.

Studies have proven that utilizing hospice services provides a financial savings for Medicare when compared to traditional care at end of life. But Medicare is concerned with hospice patients whose length of stay extends beyond 180 days. Just because a patient lives beyond 180 days after they have engaged services does not mean they were inappropriate for hospice at the time they were admitted. No physician can determine the actual time and date of a patient death. Yet Medicare is trying to hold hospices to that 180 day standard.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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