The hospice program is intended to provide people facing terminal diseases with comfort and dignity in their final days. While few people enjoy thinking about hospice care, it’s important to understand who is eligible, what kinds of services are provided, and how the admission process works to ensure that their loved ones can get the care they need quickly. Read on to learn what everyone needs to know about the hospice admission process.
Step One: Getting a Referral
The first step in enrolling a patient in hospice care is to get a referral, which usually comes from a healthcare provider or a family member who has already performed a search for hospice care near me. Once the hospice care provider gets the referral, a representative will contact the family to request some basic information about the patient’s current condition, then reach out to his or her physician to ensure eligibility. The patient’s physician will need to write an order before hospice care can begin.
Step Two: The Assessment
Once a patient has been approved to receive hospice care, a nurse will perform an assessment visit. During the visit, the nurse will interview the patient and his or her loved ones to get a better idea of what kinds of services will be required. Family members and other personal caregivers are encouraged to ask questions about what to expect and participate actively in creating a care plan.
Step Three: Obtaining Consent
After the assessment, the patient will need to provide consent to receive care. Expect to sign consent forms that include information such as:
The requirements of hospice care
The services hospice provides
The protections and rights afforded to patients
The consent form will be very similar to those signed when a patient receives care in a hospital or doctor’s office. If the patient cannot sign the consent forms, his or her designated healthcare proxy can do so instead. Most of the time, consent can be given immediately following the nurse’s initial assessment.
Step Four: Filling Out Paperwork
As with all types of medical care, hospice care requires filling out a few different forms of paperwork. Be prepared to fill out paperwork by gathering together insurance information, Medicaid or Medicare cards, a medication list, and copies of healthcare directives. The intake nurse will be able to assist patients and their families with filling out the forms as needed.
Step Five: Beginning Care
Hospice care can begin as soon as all the paperwork is filled out and the consent forms are signed. The hospice patient will begin to receive visits from social workers, aides, nurses, chaplains, and volunteers depending on his or her needs. These experts will also work with the patient’s family to provide support and make sure family caregivers have everything required to keep patients comfortable, including durable medical equipment, medications, and respite care services.
Learn More Today
Know it’s time to start making plans and getting a relative or another loved one enrolled in hospice care? The admissions process isn’t as hard as it might sound. The first step is to reach out to a qualified hospice care provider. From there, the provider will be able to assist patients and caregivers with every step of the process to get them enrolled in the program as quickly and easily as possible.