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PHYSICIAN AND HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS GUIDE TO HOSPICE

We as health care professionals are all dedicated to the same mission - providing the highest quality of care, and preserving human dignity. Everyone at Hospice of Western Kentucky is dedicated to working with you, your patients and their families to deliver excellent, compassionate, and personalized care.

What do your patients want at the end-of-life?

A Gallup poll reveals that nine in ten adults (88%) would prefer to die in their homes, free of pain, surrounded by family and loved ones: Hospice of Western Kentucky works to make that happen.

How do patients rate Hospice of Western Kentucky's care?

Surveys conducted through the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization show that 95.3% of Hospice of Western Kentucky's patients rate our care as Excellent or Very Good.

Why should I choose hospice for my patients?

Hospice services do not replace your care - they supplement and enhance your relationship with a patient. Enlisting hospice care means you are doing everything possible to provide the best care for your patients. It means they receive:

  • Care that is comforting care...
  • Care that controls symptoms and pain...
  • Care that assists with daily activities at home or wherever they reside.

We understand what physicians need and want from hospice services.

  • Fewer phone calls from patients and families
    • 24 hours a day, we will take your "patient caregiver calls"
  • Consistent Patient Management
    • Our Medical Director and many of our nurses are Hospice and Palliative Care Board Certified and are available 24/7 to see patients and handle crisis in person
    • Our Heartford House inpatient unit provides 24 hour care for patients and families needing inpatient level care for pain or symptom management
  • Clear Communication
    • Open access - direct conversation with hospice medical director and nurses
    • Ongoing family education by nurses, social workers, and spiritual counselors which help alleviate family fears
  • Weekend support resulting in fewer crisis
    • Hospice of Western Kentucky, through our Heartford House inpatient unit, has a full team (physician, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, grief counselors) to perform admissions, provide weekend visits 24 hours/day
    • Full weekend support means fewer visits to the emergency room and fewer hospital readmissions
  • Heartford House inpatient unit
    • Homelike serene atmosphere
    • Staffed by end-of-life care experts
    • Fully equipped to treat acute problems in terminally ill patients
    • Spiritual counselors and social workers available for patients and families

The benefits of hospice are far reaching because it not only reduces stress for patients and families; it reduces stress for healthcare professionals and the healthcare system too.

What does hospice require from me if I make a referral?

  • Physician order to admit to hospice
  • History and physical
  • Signed certification of terminal illness which states a probable prognosis of 6 months or less if disease follows its natural course (may remain in hospice > 6 months if patient continues to decline)

How do I identify a potential hospice patient?

  • Terminal diagnosis with probable prognosis of 6 months or less
  • Frequent hospitalizations or emergency room visits
  • Recurrent infections in last 6 months
  • Weight loss of 10% or more in last 6 months
  • Patient refuses hospitalization, aggressive treatment, or PEG tube placement
  • Home health patient in declining status

How do I Talk to Patients about Hospice?

  • Be prepared by confirming medical facts and providing an appropriate environment.
  • Establish what the patient and family know about their condition by using open-ended questions.
  • Determine (in advance) how the patient and family want to receive information.
  • Deliver the information in a straightforward manner.
  • Respond to emotions of the patient and family.
  • Establish goals for care and treatment possibilities when possible.
  • Formulate an overall plan with patient.

Can I still see my patients and be reimbursed?

      Yes,

  • Attending physician bill Medicare with GV modifier
  • Consulting physicians contract with hospice and bills hospice
  • Physician services not related to hospice bill Medicare with GW modifier