Tell Me About the Referral Process
Who refers patients to hospice?
The contact with hospice may be initiated by a medical professional, community agent, friend, family member, or the patient. It can begin with a call to a hospice office. A hospice admission nurse will consult with the patient, family and primary care physician to assess whether hospice care is appropriate and desired upon after receiving a request for services.
When should a decision about entering hospice be made? Who should make it?
The earlier you call, the more the hospice team can do to help. At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options, including hospice. By law, the decision belongs to the patient. Hospice staff members are always available to discuss this decision with the patient, family and physician.
Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice? The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy or friends.
What does the hospice admission process involve?
One of the first things hospice will do is contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for the patient at this time. Consent forms will be signed by the patient and/or caregiver. The hospice election form reads that the patient understands that the care is palliative (aimed at pain relief and symptom control) rather than curative. It also outlines the services available. A call to our office (806-356-0026 or toll free 866-654-2941) can put you in touch with one of our admission nurses who will guide you through the process.