Archive for Benefits – Page 2

The Third R: Hospice Recertification*

graduation-300x205I heard about a guy that ordered a T-shirt in anticipation of his hospice nurse’s final home visit. Even in the digital age, it took a bit of planning to get the shirt created and delivered.

Though I’m making up parts of the story I don’t recall, I’m probably not far wrong . . .

So, when the nurse entered the room where his rented hospital bed was located, the patient pulled back the sheets to reveal his new fashion statement. On the shirt, in bold letters, it read: Read More →

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The Second R: Hospice Respite*

restI’m not practicing what I’m about to preach on respite* in hospice.

But I have good excuses! (Doesn’t everyone?)

In hospice, a family should consider Medicare’s respite benefit when the patient—when your loved one—has been receiving care for an extended period of time.

Respite is rest. Respite is taking a break from the intensive and extensive support of a beloved family member or friend who is dying. Respite, based on the guidelines of the Medicare hospice benefit, can be for up to five days.

But taking a break is the proverbial easy to say and hard to do.

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Let me give you a trivial personal example of the need we can have for respite. Read More →

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The First R: Hospice Revocations*

mainpicI have a slightly embarrassing little habit during revocations*.

In the hospice team meetings patient categories are reviewed, usually in the same order each week. We discuss those who have just died, new admissions, anyone recently transferred from their residence to our inpatient hospice facility (and back again), the focus patients, the . . .

Huh? What’s focus patient?

Hey, we try to focus on every patient! But sometimes one of the staff—a nurse or chaplain—has an unexpected issue with a patient or caregiver that may be helped by feedback from the whole team. For example, a patient may wish to take a weekend trip with their family and will be temporarily out of our service area. We might have a quick “focused” discussion about how to make sure their mini-vacation is possible. That can include contacting another hospice along their route to give assistance if there’s a problem. Other “focus” discussions may involve family conflicts or exploring different medications because of unexpected allergies. There are many one-time-only concerns or situations that become a “focus.”

I remain hyper-attentive in the discussions, from the recent deaths to the occasional focus patient. But, gulp, I drift off a smidgen when the team covers “revocations.” I might glance at email (bad Larry), or ponder the day’s to-do list (bad Larry).

What’s a revocation? Read More →

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