What happens after my doctor sends the referral?
You will be contacted promptly to schedule a visit to discuss your needs and to answer any questions you have about hospice. You may be visited in the hospital if you wish. There is a consent form you will sign to indicate you are choosing hospice. If you later decide hospice care is not right for you, you may do so at any time by signing a revocation form.
Next, you will be visited by a Registered Nurse who will actually admit you. This nurse will perform a complete medical assessment, confer with the hospice physician, and arrange for delivery of your medications and supplies.
You will be given a phone number to call whenever a problem develops, and you can reach your hospice team during normal business hours. After hours, your call is answered by a Registered Nurse who will forward your concern to the on-call team.
Next, you will be given a dedicated team of professionals who will oversee and coordinate your care. Members of the team will begin visits they have scheduled with you, to become familiar with your situation and to establish a care plan with you. Thereafter, your team will work with you and each other to meet your needs.
Can I still see my own doctor?
Yes. We will coordinate your care with whomever you designate as your primary physician. As a member of the hospice team, your doctor is involved with decisions concerning your care and continues to be paid through your insurance.
Hospice patients are admitted for a specific diagnosis. Treatment for other, unrelated conditions may continue as before, following patient wishes and medical necessity. For example, a patient receiving hospice care for a cancer diagnosis might still be continuing dialysis. In this example, the dialysis treatment is not covered by hospice, but is covered through the patient's primary insurance.