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Coastal Hospice to begin pilot program

(Aug. 27, 2015) Starting in January, Coastal Hospice will begin participation in a pilot Medicare model, the Medicare Care Choices Model, designed to improve care for people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, COPD or congestive heart failure. Coastal Hospice will call this model “Coastal Care Choices.”
Under this model, Medicare patients with these diagnoses will receive the supportive care typically provided by hospice and continue treatments to cure their disease at the same time.
“Patients no longer have to make the difficult choice between treating their disease and receiving comfort care,” Alane Capen, president of Coastal Hospice, said. “Support is a phone call away 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can now stay in their own homes, determine their own health care goals and improve their quality of life.”
On July 20, Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia M. Burwell, announced Coastal Hospice’s selection for this model. HHS selected only 140 hospices across the country to test the model for a period of five years and expects as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries will benefit from the flexibility of care.
The model is part of a larger effort at HHS to transform the nation’s health care system to deliver better care, spend taxpayer dollars in a smarter way, and put patients in the center of their care.
To qualify for the Coastal Care Choices model, individuals must be diagnosed with cancer, HIV/AIDS, COPD or congestive heart failure. They must be living in a traditional home, not a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Patients must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B and D and meet hospice eligibility requirements under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit. They must not have elected the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit within the last 30 days prior to their participation in the new program. There are a few additional restrictions that apply.
The patient’s primary care physician will make the initial recommendation to the program and remain active in directing treatment and care. The care provided will be specialized, focusing on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of illness. The goal is to improve quality of life and provide greater coordination of services among all providers involved in the person’s care.
Coastal Care Choices will take a team approach that becomes an extra layer of support. Once the patient is enrolled in the program, a team of registered nurses, social workers and chaplains are available to help.
Patients can leave the Coastal Care Choices program or can enter full hospice care at any time.
Founded in 1980, Coastal Hospice is a nonprofit health care organization that cares for individuals facing life-limiting conditions but who want to remain as active and engaged as possible.