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My father is on hospice care. He is a veteran. He is very hard of hearing. Does anyone know if while on hospice, he could go to the VA for a hearing test and to be fitted with a hearing aid?

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jeannegibbs I don't know where you are getting your information, but my husband goes to the VA and is on Medicare and NO PRIOR authorization is needed EVER. He gets services (hearing aids) at the VA and has a private Medicare doctor who does lab work with a private company again WITH NO PRIOR AUTHORIZATION. Perhaps if you were an actual veteran you would know that. In any event, when a veteran has Medicare and Tricare for Life, NO AUTHORIZATIONS are needed except for certain expensive testing or tests that are not on a certain schedule (i.e. DEXA for osteoporosis is every two years, but if one has osteoporosis it can be yearly). When one is on hospice, there are no guarantees one will die in the next six months. My mother was on hospice twice with Alzheimer's and I personally fed her and she lived another year. The original question is still yes, he can go to the VA and get hearing aids without prior authorization from Medicare. Happy hearing!
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The VA might not care that he is on hospice, but Medicare will care that he is going to the VA without their prior authorization. I'd try to play by the rules, to avoid costly and frustrating consequences.

Sandy, agree that hearing better would be good for him and in some ways might be considered "comfort care." The big question is how Medicare will view it, as they pay for the hospice program. So just call and ask.

A real obstacle is the delays that might be involved. If it takes a few months to get the aids from the VA, and then several weeks for Dad to get used to them, How much benefit is really going to derive from them?
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Since your brain controls your hearing, it is NOT a good idea to get cheap over-the-counter type hearing aids. It is a prescription, therefore it is designed to fit your particular hearing loss. Any cheap imitation will make your hearing worse.
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My father is 88 years old..my the time the test was done (approved out source by VA) in Oregon, it took over 2 months to get his hearing aids...VA directly would be longer....my Dad was the first vet in Oregon this summer to try this program.... The aids are great.....check your local VA to see what options they have...maybe easier to buy the cheapy battery aids you see on TV
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Yes, he may use the services of the VA anytime. No one has to know he is on hospice, nor would they care. He can get tested, and receive a free pair of hearing aids every four years for free. My three-war veteran husband goes to the VA so I know this routine very well. Good luck! Make an appointment ASAP for it might take some time to get an appointment.
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I just did a little preliminary work for you. I googled "does va provide hearing aids free of charge" and selected and clicked "VA Hearing Aid Benefits - Audiology Online" where Dr Kyle Dennis is Deputy Director of the National Audiology and Speech Pathology Service, Department of Veterans Affairs. He broadly explains eligibility. You may want to visit that site or others and have a read.

The reason I delved into this is the son of one of my dearest friends is an injured veteran from the Vietnam era and the VA is where he goes for medical care. Except in an emergency, of course, everything he has to go through is not accomplished in days or weeks, but in months, and sometimes several months.

One of the rules eligibility for hearing aids is that the veteran must be having all his or her medical care at the VA. That may require a few months when your father would not be getting other care other than through the VA.

Only you know whether or not that would be practical in your father's circumstances. If he is enrolled in hospice now, a doctor had to have opined that your father had 6 months or less to live. And, is he in a care facility as well, where he may have the regular services of the facility doctor?

I thank you have to find out first if your father is even eligible for va hearing aids provided at no cost. If they're not, and considering the time factor, your only options may be going without or privately purchasing them.

One of the reasons dr. Dennis mentions that makes a veteran eligible for hearing aid is hearing loss severe enough that having hearing aids would allow the patient to participate in his own medical care. I'm wondering if Medicare/Medicaid (if your dad receives his medical care from that source) may have a similar standard.

I'm concern that anything you do except for private pay would takes so much time as to not be beneficial or logical for your dad.

Any information you uncover could be very beneficial to others on this forum. Please keep posting.
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Did he have a hearing aid before he went on hospice and it just needs to be replaced? If so, call the audiologist and explain the situation. They can likely just replace it without an appointment.
If he's never worn a hearing aid, I'd consult an audiologist about the wisdom of getting him one at this point. It's not always a simple adjustment even when someone is in good health.
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Just another SWAG (wild-a**-guess) - I would think good hearing would be palliative care.... it keeps you comfortable by being aware of your world, and entertained. It does not "extend your life". ?
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I don't know for sure, but I kind of doubt it. Hospice is only for comfort care, and I'm not sure that hearing aids would fit that definition. But it should be an easy matter to ask his hospice nurse, or to call the hospice company with your question.

Another possibility is to take Dad off hospice care, go to the VA, and get back on hospice. Exactly how that would work is something else you can ask hospice.
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