1. Determine whether the patient is terminally ill.
Terminal illness is defined as an illness that is incurable and will result in death within six months. The patient's diagnosis must be confirmed by a physician.
2. Assess the patient's prognosis.
The prognosis is assessed by considering the patient's symptoms, overall health, and life expectancy.
3. Check the patient's overall health status.
The health status is evaluated to ensure that the patient is able to tolerate hospice care. This includes assessing the patient's mobility, mental status, and ability to eat and drink.
4. Verify that the patient lives in a hospice service area.
Hospice services are available only to patients who live in certain geographic areas. The hospice eligibility checklist can help determine if the patient is eligible for services.
5. Confirm that the patient meets Medicare eligibility requirements.
Medicare coverage of hospice care is available to patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and meet other eligibility requirements, such as being enrolled in Medicare Part A and B.
6. Review the hospice benefit coverage with the healthcare team.
Before enrolling in hospice care, it is important to understand what services are covered under the benefit plan and what costs may be incurred by the family. The hospice eligibility checklist can help identify these details.
7. Discuss care options with the family and/or caregiver(s).
Once it has been determined that hospice care may be appropriate for the patient, it is important to discuss all of the options with family and/or caregivers. They may have questions about what hospice care involves and how it will impact their loved one's care.
8. Make a decision about whether to enroll in hospice care.
The final decision about whether to enroll in hospice care should be made after careful consideration of all of the information presented in this checklist.
9. If enrolled, begin receiving hospice care services.
If the decision is made to enroll in hospice care, the patient will receive a team of professionals who will provide comfort and support during the final stages of life. Hospice care services can be provided in a variety of settings, including the home, hospital, or nursing home.