Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rising hospice care concerns?Submitted: 02/19/2014
Story By Kalia Baker


WOODRUFF - By 2015, 3 out of 10 people in Wisconsin will be considered part of the aging population.

But the issue of whether or not hospice facilities are draining Medicare for a profit is a nationwide issue.

"When those articles came out, those national articles, we were upset and hurt," said Leslie Schmidt, admissions coordinator at Seasons of Life Hospice Care. Unfortunately, our agency gets lumped into and we are very proud of what we do here at Ministry [Health Care]."

Schmidt is talking about a recent Wsshington Post article that states, "the number of "hospice survivors" in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren't actually dying."

Schmidt believes that accusation spoils the benefit of hospice care.

"It creates an inherit distrust for the services that are provided, that are legitimate, caring services that are provided by people who do good work, said Schmidt."

Some hospice patients are sent home because their Medicare benefits are revoked.

"That's why Medicare has very clearly defined guidelines of what the last six months of someone's life looks like."

Schmidt doesn't deny that Medicare fraud in the hospice care industry exists, but she doesn't want that to take away from good work that hospice care providers do.

"[Those] kinds of stories in particular are stories of interest. In that story, the people and the agencies that do good work, which are following the rules of Medicare, and other insurance programs get lost."

It's possible that the meaning of hospice is changing. Fewer people are dying in hospice care, but more people are relying on it.

"The biggest misconception is that hospice is a place that people go to at the end of life," said Melissa Salaam, who is the patience care supervisor at Ministry. Really, what it is, is the hospice teams comes to them, wherever they call home."

For registered nurse Chris Reed-Roeser, being a hospice caregiver is a dignified job to have.

"There are two things that I feel are the best part of my job. One being; that I work with an awesome group of people. I work with people who feel the same passion about end of life care as I do," said Reed-Roeser. "Secondly, going home at night and just knowing that you made a difference."








Related Weblinks:
The New York Times
The Washington Post

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - In the next couple weeks, Gov. Scott Walker will release Wisconsin's budget for the next two years. Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) thought it would be a perfect time to host listening sessions in a number of Northwoods communities. 

One of the sessions was at the Eagle River library Monday. Some people brought up the poor road conditions in the area. Tiffany says transportation funding is one of the items he will be looking at closely in the upcoming budget. 

+ Read More

Play Video

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Neal McCoy doesn't take days off.  The 58-year-old country music star is in the middle of a months-long multi-state tour, which is something he's done for nearly 30 years.

But it's McCoy's daily tradition, which started one year ago, that's rejuvenated the patriotic front man more than any concert does.

"I haven't slept in for quite a while now," McCoy said with a laugh.  "I know, I'm leading this crusade, if you will."

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - People stopped at the site of Eagle River's Ice Castle on Monday, cellphone cameras in hand. But unlike the previous week, they weren't taking pictures of the beautiful and iconic castle.

Instead, they were taking pictures of its demolition.

Warm winter weather made the Ice Castle's structure come apart--and made it a safety hazard.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Sunday's Packers loss hit fans hard. But it also affected stores that support those dedicated fans.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - The people of Antigo officially said goodbye to Christmas on Monday night.

The Optimist Club hosted the annual Christmas tree burn outside the high school. 

Last week, city workers collected and piled up hundreds of residents' Christmas trees.

Organizers say they believe the event has been going on for 30 or more years, and this year's weather was one for the books.

+ Read More

Play Video

MEDFORD - Mikayla Kelz grew up around politics. 

"When I was little my dad was actually a politician--just a local one, a district attorney," said Kelz. 

Seeing her dad work got Kelz interested in politics too.

"I remember going on the campaign trail with him and that just kind of sparked my interest," said Kelz.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The YMCA of the Northwoods teamed up with LIVESTRONG to create a fitness program that supports
cancer survivors and patients. The 12-week program focuses on rebuilding strength and stamina.

YMCA wellness director Stephanie Ruckeim says it offers so much more than just physical strength.

"It's about trying to increase that muscle mass, increase their flexibility, their endurance and also work
on their self-esteem and self-confidence," says Ruckeim.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here