“The truth is, even today, a lot of folks who could benefit from hospice care never get it—or if they do, it’s only with a few days left before death…” ~ Dr. Joe Rotella, MD, MBA, chief medical officer at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Medicare spends 15.1 billion dollars annually on hospice care. In recent years, the government has increased regulatory standards for hospice intake to ensure only the “appropriate” patients are admitted.
How does a primary care physician (PCP) decide when to recommend hospice care for his or her patients?
“One message I would have for front-line doctors is this: don’t hesitate to call hospice and ask for a consultation if you have any doubt. Think of those patients who continue to return to the hospital despite your best efforts, and have increasing symptoms my site.” ~Dr. Rotella
Here’s an in-depth explanation of regulations, financial policies, referral options and advice for PCPs regarding advocacy for patients’ end-of-life care.