FOR DISCHARGE PLANNERS
Hospice care focuses on quality of life for people diagnosed with terminal illnesses by providing them with superior pain and symptom management and professional support for their families.
When is hospice care right for my patient?
To be eligible for hospice care, your patient must have a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease runs its natural course. When curative treatment is no longer effective for your patient’s terminal illness or isn’t adding to quality of life, hospice care is an option.
We can help you determine if hospice meets your patient’s goals for care and our professional staff is expert at talking with patients and their families. We explain how our services are patient-directed with medical guidance from the attending physician and Community Hospices’ Medical Director. We emphasize that there’s little or no cost to the patient or family and we describe our team approach to patient care.
Once you call or FAX a referral, the process moves quickly:
We complete a nursing assessment to evaluate your patient’s hospice eligibility à we process the enrollment paperwork à we order DME and medications for delivery to the patient’s home à we set up regular visits from the hospice nurse and other team members (nursing aide, social worker, chaplain, volunteer) àand we educate and guide the caregiver and family members through the transition.
How do I approach the subject of hospice care with the patient and family?
We can be a part of your conversation with your patient and the family. We’re end-of-life experts and can explain how The Washington Home & Community Hospices helps keep patients comfortable and manages their pain and symptoms so they can enjoy the time they have.
What services will my patient receive?
Our staff, directed by the attending physician and our Medical Director, work to meet patient needs by providing:
Medicare-certified comfort care wherever your patient calls home (private home, group home, assisted living and residential care facilities)
all medications, equipment and supplies needed for comfort
credentialed and certified medical director who works with the patient’s attending physician
credentialed and certified nurses and social workers
regular visits from a registered nurse to manage pain and symptoms
round-the-clock phone support from a registered nurse for pain management
personal care from a certified nursing assistant
a social worker and chaplain to help with end-of-life planning and ease emotional and spiritual anxiety
regular breaks for caregivers covered by trained hospice volunteers
access to inpatient care at a partnering facility
access to respite care at a contracted facility
Special Programs for your patient:
our one-of-a-kind Hospice Caregiver’s Relief Program that provides free homecare aides for hospice patients whose caregivers must work or are frail and elderly (charity initiative for families who qualify)
Hospice Doula and 11th Hour Programs for patients who need comforting companionship
We Honor Veterans Program focuses on the unique end-of-life needs of the women and men who served our country
What if my patient needs extra care?
We admit your patient to hospice care at one of the following levels depending on your patient’s needs:
Routine Home Care – we come to where your patient is and control pain and symptoms with medications, medical equipment and visits from our Registered Nurses. Our staff visit as often as they and you – the primary care doctor - determine your patient should be seen. A hospice nurse is available 24/7.
Inpatient Care – we care for your patient in a partnering inpatient facility nearby, if her/his pain and symptoms can’t be managed well at home. Inpatient hospice care provides 24/7 on-site RN’s and aides, working with our team. Their goal is to get pain and symptoms under control so that your patient can return home.
Continuous Nursing Care – we come to your patient’s home when her/his pain and symptoms can’t be managed well there but s/he doesn’t want to go to an inpatient unit. An RN and an aide provide coordinated coverage for at least eight (8) hours daily for a brief period of time. This care is provided under most insurance plans.
Respite Care – if requested, The Washington Home & Community Hospices contracts with a facility where your patient stays for up to five (5) nights while her/his caregiver gets some much-needed time and rest. Then your patient returns to routine hospice care at home.
How do I refer my patient to The Washington Home & Community Hospices?
We make it as simple as possible for you:
Call 866-234-7742 between 8:30 – 5:00 Monday through Friday and someone speaks with you within two hours. Call after business hours, someone returns your call as soon as possible; or,
FAX this Referral Form to 202-895-0154 and someone contacts you as soon as possible.