The ‘Public Health Medical Coverage for Hospice Care’ was announced at a recent Ministry of Health & Welfare forum on the topic of ‘The restriction and boundaries of Hospice and Palliative Care medical coverage’.
The coverage will come into effect around July 2015. It will include nursing aid fees and is expected to gradually expand to cover hospice home care services.
The KSHPC noted: “This is a huge step forward, as public health medical coverage designed for cancer patients has been mainly focused on ‘Cure’ rather than ‘Care’ since 2005.”
Following the changes, hospice patients will be applied to Resource Utilization Group (RUG) public health medical coverage.
The RUG scheme will cover the cost for special units such as a private room for dying patients, counselling, music, art therapy and integrative patient care. However, the ‘fee for service’ system will still remain for procedures such as the use of strong opioids, palliative radiation therapy and transfusion for hematologic malignancy.
Read more on the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network website.