This is a guest post by Dawn Mixon, Halcyon Hospice’s Admissions Coordinator.
I often find when speaking with patients, families and physicians that many people are not aware of how hospice services work, or don’t work, with some of Georgia’s Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Georgia offers two HCBS Medicaid programs: 1. Community Care Services Program (CCSP), and 2. Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE).
While both programs have been created to provide care in the home to improve health outcomes, decrease hospitalizations, and reduce the use of long term care facilities for patients, there is a big difference between the two as it relates to hospice care. SOURCE is a Medicaid program that IS NOT compatible with hospice services. A patient can receive services through either SOURCE or hospice, but the two cannot be used in combination with one another. CCSP is a Medicaid program that IS compatible with hospice services. A patient may receive hospice services, while still receiving services from CCSP. However, it is important to note that services from each program cannot be duplicated on the same days. For instance, if a patient receives an aide daily from CCSP, then hospice would not provide an aide.
The reason hospice is not compatible with SOURCE is because SOURCE assigns each patient an RN Case Manager. Source Case Managers work directly with a patient’s primary care physicians. Much like SOURCE, hospice services also provide an RN Case Manager, in an interdisciplinary setting as well, and a patient may not receive duplicated services of an RN Case Manager. CCSP does not do this, so it enables a patient to coordinate both services for their overall care.
Unfortunately, if a patient is receiving services through SOURCE at the time a referral is made to hospice, the family of a loved one must choose whether to continue with SOURCE services or go with hospice. This is a difficult decision because often a family is not able to provide adequate care to a patient without the help of SOURCE. It really depends on the needs of the patient and the stage of their terminal illness to determine which services would best serve the patient’s current condition.
Halcyon Hospice provides care throughout Georgia. Both Medicaid and Medicare provide hospice benefits, including the cost of all medications related to the hospice diagnosis. Most other insurance programs offer hospice benefits as well.
Anyone can make a referral for services, including patients, physicians or family members. For more information about hospice and payment for services, call us at (855) 328-1700 or utilize our Live Chat feature on our website and our support specialists can help guide you through the decision-making process.