Category: Best Practice

Articles about best practices often in the field of hospice with the goal to maintain Medicare compliance.

Understanding Hospice Eval and Treat Orders

Provider Order To Eval And Treat For Hospice
In the world of healthcare, when a provider writes an order to "Eval and Treat" for hospice, they are asking for a thorough evaluation and a tailored treatment plan. This is specifically meant for patients who are being considered for hospice care. Let's delve into what this means and why it's crucial. What Does "Eval and Treat" for Hospice Mean?
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Hospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

color coded hospice staff visit calendar
As a hospice nurse, determining the appropriate frequency of scheduled nurse visits for your patients is essential to providing effective and compassionate end-of-life care. Patients and their families often rely on your expertise to ensure their comfort and well-being during this sensitive time. In this article, we'll discuss suggested starting scheduled nurse visit frequencies, when to decrease or increase frequencies, and factors to consider based on patient acuity and changes in their condition.
Read MoreHospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

How to Use the Beers Criteria for Medication Reconciliation and Deprescribing in Hospice Care: 10 Case Studies

thoughtful prescribing and deprescribing
In this article, we will discuss how to use the Beers Criteria to identify PIMs and potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) in hospice patients. PPOs are medications that are indicated but not prescribed for a specific patient or population, or that are prescribed at a suboptimal dose or duration. We will also present 10 case studies to illustrate the medication reconciliation and deprescribing process and the outcomes of medication changes in different scenarios.
Read MoreHow to Use the Beers Criteria for Medication Reconciliation and Deprescribing in Hospice Care: 10 Case Studies

Best Practices for Oral Care in Hospice Patients: A Guide for Families

oral mouth swabs
Caring for a loved one who is comatose during their hospice journey requires special attention, particularly when it comes to oral care. In this guide, we'll explore best practices for oral care, considering the unique needs of comatose patients, and provide you with valuable resources for further guidance.
Read MoreBest Practices for Oral Care in Hospice Patients: A Guide for Families

Understanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

As experienced caregivers, we know how crucial it is to accurately assess and determine hospice eligibility for our terminally ill patients. Today, let's focus on patients with non-Alzheimer's dementia. While the FAST scale is not applicable in these cases, there are other signs and symptoms we should be observant of to support and prove hospice eligibility. Let's dive in!
Read MoreUnderstanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

Understanding the Patient’s Question: When Will I Die?

Wirlpool
One common question that both patients (if they are mentally aware) and their loved ones often ask is about the timing of the patient's passing. While the exact answer lies beyond human knowledge, hospice nurses play a crucial role in assessing the patient's journey towards the end of life. In this article, we will explore how to provide a rough estimate using widely followed guidelines.
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How to Use the START/STOPP Criteria for Medication Reconciliation and Deprescribing in Hospice Care: 10 Case Studies

thoughtful prescribing and deprescribing
If you are caring for a terminally ill patient in hospice, you know how challenging it can be to manage their medications. You want to make sure they are getting the best possible care, but you also want to avoid unnecessary or harmful drugs that may worsen their quality of life or cause adverse effects. That’s where medication reconciliation and deprescribing come in. Medication reconciliation is the process of reviewing and updating the patient’s medication list to ensure accuracy and completeness. Deprescribing is the process of reducing or stopping medications that are no longer needed, effective, or appropriate for the patient’s condition and goals of care.
Read MoreHow to Use the START/STOPP Criteria for Medication Reconciliation and Deprescribing in Hospice Care: 10 Case Studies

The Benefits of Deprescribing Medications in Hospice: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Hospice Nurses

Common Medications That May No Longer Be Needed For Terminally Ill Patients
I know just how important it is to provide comfort and support during this challenging journey. One aspect of hospice care that often raises concerns is deprescribing medications. In this article, we'll explore what deprescribing is and why it can be beneficial for patients nearing the end of life.
Read MoreThe Benefits of Deprescribing Medications in Hospice: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Hospice Nurses

Documenting Observational Signs of Discomfort: A Guide for Hospice Nurses and Families

Person Writing In A Journal
As a hospice nurse, I understand the importance of documenting observational signs of discomfort in terminally ill patients. Sometimes, patients may not fully express or report their discomfort accurately, making it essential for caregivers and healthcare professionals to be attentive and document these signs. In this article, I will provide guidance to hospice nurses and families on documenting such signs and the benefits of journaling for both parties involved.
Read MoreDocumenting Observational Signs of Discomfort: A Guide for Hospice Nurses and Families

Avoiding Problematic Language in Hospice Nursing Narratives

Proper documentation is crucial for hospice nurses to ensure Medicare compliance and maintain the patient's eligibility for services. Auditors, who may not have a healthcare background, review these documents to determine if the patient's condition is terminal. To avoid having the patient removed from service due to improper documentation, hospice nurses should be mindful of the words and phrases they use in their nursing narratives and progress notes. This article will provide guidance on what to avoid and why it is essential to paint a picture of a terminally ill patient.
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Understanding Heart Failure Stages and Assessment

Heart failure is a complex medical condition that can impact the quality of life of patients, especially those in hospice care. As a hospice nurse, it's crucial to assess the stage of heart failure accurately to provide appropriate care. In this article, we will explore the New York Heart Failure Classification System, its stages, and how to assess patients for their stage. Additionally, we will emphasize the importance of documentation in compliance with Medicare guidelines for terminally ill patients with heart failure.
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Understanding Functional Decline in the Natural Dying Process

In this article, we delve into the critical topic of functional decline in individuals nearing the end of life. Understanding these changes is invaluable for hospice nurses, caregivers, and family members as they provide compassionate care during this delicate phase. We will explore various examples of functional decline and emphasize the importance of documenting these changes to aid in care provision and decision-making.
Read MoreUnderstanding Functional Decline in the Natural Dying Process

Importance of Medication Reconciliation in Hospice Care

Medication Related Errors Are The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In The Usa
Medication reconciliation plays a pivotal role in hospice care, ensuring that terminally ill patients receive the most appropriate and safe medication regimens. This process involves creating and maintaining an accurate list of a patient's medications to prevent adverse drug events and enhance their overall well-being. In this article, we will delve into the importance of medication reconciliation, including its recommended frequency and the reconciliation process.
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Reviewing Hospice Eligibility

general hospice criteria
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the key local coverage determination (LCD) facts for different terminal illnesses to avoid admitting patients who are not eligible for services only to be required to refund the money back to Medicare otherwise only have the patient on for one benefit period then discharged for failure to decline. These determinations provide guidelines on the coverage of hospice services for specific conditions. Let’s explore some essential information for each terminal illness based on the provided PDF files as noted in the resources section below.
Read MoreReviewing Hospice Eligibility

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