Last month, the Office of the Inspector General released two new reports following its investigation into hospice care in the U.S. the NHPCO responded to New OIG Reports on Hospice Care with a press release stating that, “NHPCO welcomes the opportunity to shed a light on high quality providers as well as those that fall short in providing appropriate care.”
At Bristol Hospice, compliance forms the backbone of the company and in light of these reports from OIG and NHPCO, we want to take this opportunity to share some of these compliance aspects which we consider makes us one of the “high quality providers”.
It is not surprising that most people associate hospice with cancer. In the mid-1970s when hospice came to the U.S., most hospice patients had cancer. Today, more than half of hospice patients in the U.S. have other illnesses for which they are medically eligible for hospice services, such as late-stage heart, lung or kidney disease, and advanced Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. (source: Hospice Foundation of America). Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, VA and most insurance plans cover hospice services.
Hospice is not a place, because Hospice is a plan of care. Patients may receive Hospice services wherever they call home, which may be a private residence or that of a loved one, hospital, assisted living center, or nursing home.
“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life.”
~Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of modern hospice.
Hospice is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well. At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.
Typically, in order to receive hospice services:
- A hospice physician and a second physician (often the individual’s attending physician or specialist) must certify that the patient meets specific medical eligibility criteria;
- The patient’s life expectancy is 6 months or less if the illness, disease or condition
National Volunteer Week is April 10 – 16. Supported by Points of Light since 1974, this week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.
At Bristol Hospice, we recognize that volunteers are an integral part of hospice care. Whether it is providing companionship to a person in the final months and weeks of life, or offering support to their family members and caregivers, the contributions of volunteers are essential to the hospice team.
Being a hospice volunteer, you can gain great personal satisfaction from knowing that you have made a difference in another person’s life. Some examples of volunteer duties are:
- Providing companionship to a patient and their family
- Being a comforting and supportive presence
- Providing respite time for the patient’s caregivers
- Running errands or doing light housekeeping for the patient and family
- Community outreach
- Office Support
Especially during National Volunteer Week, we’d like to extend our utmost gratitude to all who serve as Bristol Hospice volunteers. You are our heroes!
Interested in becoming a volunteer? Contact us.
Throughout March – National Social Work Month, the Bristol Hospice team is celebrating our nation’s more than 600,000 social workers and their contributions. They confront some of the most challenging issues facing individuals, families, communities and society and forge solutions that help people reach their full potential and make our nation a better place to live. Thank you for all you do! Learn more at NASW.