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Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Frank Davis
The goal of hospice care is to provide comprehensive medical and psychosocial support to patients and their families as they approach the end of their lives. The majority of research studies conducted in the United States have found that hospice programs have a positive impact on the quality of care given and the satisfaction of patients.
It is generally accepted that a hospice patient who is near the end of life can receive care at home; however, studies suggest that about 25 percent of those patients who are disenrolled by hospice end up in the hospital. When a patient is hospitalized, inappropriate care transitions can occur, which might result in the wrong kind of care for the patient and even adverse patient outcomes.
In this article, we will discuss the issue of whether or not a hospice patient should go to the hospital or ER.
Can a Hospice Patient go to the Emergency Room or Hospital
The short answer to the question is that it depends. There must be an unrelated condition that warrants the patient’s going to the emergency room or hospital, such as a heart attack, stroke, or even a fall that causes them to break a bone. In fact, it is critical that the patient understands this, as if they go to the hospital or emergency room for any reason related to their terminal condition, it may result in the cancellation of hospice services. It is also important to note that even if you have hospice coverage, the medical bill may not be covered if it has not been alerted to the company in advance. As a consequence, you might be required to pay the full amount of the stay if this is the case.
If you are receiving hospice care and your medication is not working properly or if you notice any changes in your condition, contact your hospice service provider. When there is a need, the hospice doctor may order that a higher dose or a different medication be prescribed to the patient. In order to provide additional services and improve comfort levels to the patient, communicating between the caregiver, patient, and hospice provider is crucial. It is how we are able to adjust the dosages and provide additional services.
Please call us, if you think that additional hospice services are needed, for example, in case of a medical crisis, where pain and other symptoms are not controlled. During this type of situation, hospice can offer continuous home care as well as short-term inpatient care when needed. As a result of these interventions, patients may receive higher levels of care, which is able to address acute medical crises, provide more intensive palliation, and maintain continuity without experiencing poor transition between healthcare settings.
In continuous home care, the hospice nurse is sent for a minimum of 8 hours up to 24 hours a day. In the course of this stay, the nurse monitors the patient constantly, and administers medication as required by the patient. In addition, the nurse will report to the doctor so he can prescribe medications to achieve maximum comfort levels. In short-term inpatient care, nurses are on duty around the clock, and the patient is under the supervision of the staff for no more than a few days. As soon as the medical crisis is under control, the patient can return to their home.
I will rephrase the question in order to make it clearer. If the condition is related to the terminal illness, can a hospice patient visit the emergency room or hospital? The answer is no. Does a hospice patient have the option of visiting a hospital or emergency room if the reason is unrelated to their terminal illness? The answer is yes. It is advisable for you to contact your hospice care agency in case of any doubts or questions. When in doubt, it is always best to double check.
Among hospice patients, an emergency room visit or an inpatient hospital visit are only permitted if the injury or condition is not related to the terminal illness they suffer from. The best thing to do if it is related is to call the hospice agency immediately and provide them with a report. In addition to the hospice services it provides, hospice agencies have other services to use to assist in case additional support is required. If you have any questions or concerns regarding going to the emergency room or hospital, or if you are interested in receiving hospice services, you may contact our office by calling (818)433-0068.
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