A new law will allow more people to access end-of-life inpatient hospice care. Beginning July 1, the room-and-board expenses of low-income Wyoming residents cared for at hospice inpatient facilities will be paid by Medicaid.

The law will give terminally ill people the option of spending their last days in hospice care rather than in a hospital or nursing home. Hospice provides around-the-clock medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support.

AARP strongly supported the law to provide support for those in hospice. The new policy potentially will result in savings for the state: Hospice care costs less than nursing homes or hospitals.

The hospice reimbursement rate is up to half of the average Medicaid reimbursement rate for nursing homes.

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