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Medicare changes open up treatment for Coastal Care

(Feb. 4, 2016) A new Medicare model is now available for Medicare recipients who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting prognosis of advanced cancer, chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure or HIV/AIDS.
Coastal Care Choices is a Medicare-authorized option for patients who want to continue treating their disease but need help with care and support in their home.
“Patients no longer have to make the difficult choice between treating their disease and receiving comfort care,” Nicole Moore, RN, BSN and program coordinator, 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.”
Patients pay nothing out of pocket for Coastal Care Choices, and there is no change to their existing Medicare coverage. The usual deductibles and co-pays will not change.
To qualify for Coastal Care Choices, individuals must be diagnosed with a life-limiting prognosis of advanced cancer, HIV/AIDS, COPD or congestive heart failure, and enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B and D. They must be living in a traditional home, not a nursing home or assisted living facility. Other qualifications apply.
The patient’s own physicians and the Coastal Care Choices nurse will work with the patient and family to determine eligibility for the model. Together, the team will work with the patient and their physician to set healthcare goals and decide how best to reach them.
Coastal Care Choices will take a team approach that becomes an extra layer of support for patients and their families. Patients are cared for and supported in their own homes by the registered nurse coordinator who will work with the patients’ doctors to manage pain and any other symptoms that may have from their treatments, such as nausea and loss of appetite.
In addition, chaplains will offer patients and their families emotional support. Social workers will provide guidance and volunteers will give families a break from caregiving.
Coastal Care Choices will be administered by Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care, but is not the same program as hospice. In July 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Coastal Hospice’s selection to test the model for a period of five years and expects as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries to 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. The goal is to improve quality of life and provide greater coordination of services among all providers involved in the person’s care.
Information about Coastal Care Choices is available at or by calling 844-422-7958.