Category: Documentation

Articles pertaining to documentation often in hospice with the goal to maintain Medicare compliance.

Hospice General Inpatient Care: a Guide for Families and Nurses

general inpatient hospice header
Hospice General Inpatient Care (GIP) provides short-term, intensive care for patients experiencing severe pain or symptoms that can't be managed at home. Learn about GIP eligibility, benefits, and how it helps both patients and families during challenging times. Discover key details and important considerations for this essential hospice service.
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Compelling Hospice Nursing Narratives: Ensuring Continued Eligibility and Comprehensive Care

This guide covers how to write effective hospice nursing narratives, key documentation areas, and the importance of detailed and negative-based wording to support continued hospice eligibility.
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Admission Nurse: Important Questions to Ask During the Hospice Admission Visit

Some Indicators For Hospice Eligibility
As a hospice admission nurse, asking the right questions is crucial for assessing patients' eligibility and providing compassionate care. This article explores critical questions to understand the patient's condition, decline timeline, hospitalizations, functional abilities, cognitive status, and comorbidities. By gathering this information, nurses can support informed decisions, tailor interventions, and ensure a "good death" for patients and families.
Read MoreAdmission Nurse: Important Questions to Ask During the Hospice Admission Visit

Hospice Eligibility for Diverse Dementia Diagnoses

Differential Diagnosis for Dementia
Exploring Hospice Eligibility Criteria for Alzheimer's, Vascular, Lewy Body, Frontotemporal and other Dementias: Empowering Hospice Nurses to Provide Compassionate End-of-Life Care
Read MoreHospice Eligibility for Diverse Dementia Diagnoses

How RN Case Managers Can Maintain Good Compliance with Medicare Guidelines

As a seasoned hospice nurse, I recognize the significance of adhering to Medicare guidelines to ensure top-notch patient care. Medicare guidelines offer a roadmap for hospice providers to offer exceptional care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. Nonetheless, upholding compliance with these guidelines can be a hurdle, especially for smaller hospice providers with limited resources. In this article, we'll delve into how RN case managers can effectively ensure compliance with Medicare guidelines.
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Educational Topics for Hospice Nurses During Admission and Post-Admission Visits

Discover essential educational topics for hospice nurses during admission and follow-up visits. Learn how to effectively communicate with patients and families, manage symptoms, provide emotional support, and navigate end-of-life care. Enhance your skills to deliver compassionate, comprehensive hospice care.
Read MoreEducational Topics for Hospice Nurses During Admission and Post-Admission Visits

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

Navigating hospice eligibility for non-Alzheimer's dementia patients demands a personalized approach. Unlike Alzheimer's, there's no definitive scale, necessitating assessments of functional decline, mobility, communication, incontinence, weight loss, overall condition, and comorbidities. Effective documentation, clinical judgment, and compassionate care are crucial for supporting these patients and families.
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Understanding the Patient’s Question: When Will I Die?

Wirlpool
Navigating the tender journey of hospice care, Compassion Crossing offers guidance on addressing the pivotal question of “when?”—a beacon for caregivers seeking solace and understanding in life’s final chapter.
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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. This guide covers recognizing physical and behavioral cues indicating discomfort, even if patients don't express it. It also highlights the benefits of journaling for families and nurses, with tips for effective documentation to enhance patient comfort and care.
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 guide what to avoid and why it is essential to paint a picture of a terminally ill patient.
Read MoreAvoiding Problematic Language in Hospice Nursing Narratives

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, assessing the heart failure stage is crucial to providing appropriate care accurately. This article will explore the New York Heart Failure Classification System, its stages, and how to assess patients for their stages. 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

Explore the journey of functional decline in the natural dying process. This article provides insight for caregivers and families, emphasizing the importance of documenting changes to enhance care and decision-making in life’s final chapter.
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Reviewing Hospice Eligibility

general hospice criteria
It’s essential 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. If you are the admitting nurse, please do not just admit because you were told to admit by someone, regardless of the position or standing of the person or party that told you to admit. Use your critical thinking and clinical judgment skills to evaluate the patient for admission. Most doctors will write "evaluate and treat" or something to that effect; never lose sight of the "evaluate" portion of the doctor's order. Based on the provided PDF files, as noted in the resources section below, let’s explore some essential information for each terminal illness.
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Empowering Hospice Nurses: Conquering Medicare Audits and Improving Documentation for Better Patient Care

This article provides valuable insights for hospice nurses on improving documentation to conquer Medicare audits and ensure claims are not denied due to insufficient evidence of terminal prognosis. The author shares real-life examples of visit narratives before and after implementing documentation best practices learned from an expert. The tips focus on capturing negative condition changes, disorientation levels, and functional decline to paint a clear picture of the patient's terminal state, ultimately leading to better patient care.
Read MoreEmpowering Hospice Nurses: Conquering Medicare Audits and Improving Documentation for Better Patient Care

Review of the Hospice Documentation Master Bundle

Whether you are a new hospice nurse or an experienced one like me, I would hope that it is your desire to prove and support continued hospice eligibility for your patients and families. In my years as a hospice nurse, I've always felt the training on what words and phrases to use to support hospice eligibility was weak compared to the training received in other areas of nursing. Now, you have a means of getting the education you need in a very portable setup that you can take with you, use as you see fit, and bloom!
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