Category: Documentation

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

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.
Read MoreUnderstanding the Patient’s Question: When Will I Die?

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.
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, 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.
Read MoreUnderstanding Heart Failure Stages and Assessment

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

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

Empowering Hospice Nurses: Conquering Medicare Audits and Improving Documentation for Better Patient Care

Hospice Documentation Master Bundle
Don't let bureaucratic hurdles stand in the way of providing the best hospice care for your patients! The recent surge in audits and claim denials has put immense pressure on hospice nurses like us, but there's a way to turn the tide in our favor. "A Hospice Nurse's Guide to Hospice Documentation" and "A Supplemental Guide to Hospice Documentation" – essential tools developed by Shelley Henry, a seasoned expert in the field. These guides are part of the comprehensive Hospice Documentation Master Bundle that can revolutionize the way you document patient care. Imagine the satisfaction of knowing that your documentation is foolproof and supports the critical six month or less terminal prognosis. By following Shelley's expert advice, you can effectively communicate your patient's needs to third-party auditors and avoid those devastating claim denials that hurt both patients and your agency.
Read MoreEmpowering Hospice Nurses: Conquering Medicare Audits and Improving Documentation for Better Patient Care

Review of the Hospice Documentation Master Bundle

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!
Read MoreReview of the Hospice Documentation Master Bundle

Understanding HIS Requirements for Medicare in Hospice Care

One crucial aspect for new hospice nurses to grasp is the Hospice Item Set (HIS) requirements. In this article, I’ll explain the HIS requirements for Medicare, providing you with a comprehensive understanding to ensure compliance and quality care delivery.
Read MoreUnderstanding HIS Requirements for Medicare in Hospice Care

The Hospice Nursing Visit from a Nursing Perspective — Home Patients

This article is intended to help new visiting hospice nurses who are struggling to maintain work-life balance who may have been told by others their visits are either too long or being questioned why they are taking work home with them. This article will deal strictly with home patients though the bulk of the tips will apply to almost any type of patient or visit.
Read MoreThe Hospice Nursing Visit from a Nursing Perspective — Home Patients

The Importance of Documenting Hospice Visits at the Bedside

Our primary focus for our patients is comfort at the end of life as hospice nurses. We work tirelessly to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care during their end-of-life journey. An aspect of that care that is often overlooked, but incredibly important is timely documentation. Documenting hospice visits at the bedside is crucial for several reasons. Not only does it help ensure that our patients are receiving the best possible care, but it also helps the hospice team as a whole and reduces issues when the caregiver must be involved in triage services. Here are just a few reasons why documenting hospice visits at the bedside is so important:
Read MoreThe Importance of Documenting Hospice Visits at the Bedside

General Inpatient (GIP) Level of Care for Hospice Explained

general inpatient hospice
General Inpatient Hospice, often abbreviated as GIP, is a crucial but frequently misunderstood aspect of hospice care. This level of care is provided to patients in an inpatient setting, typically in a Medicare-certified hospital, inpatient unit, or skilled nursing facility. It is designed for short-term, acute situations that require intensive management by skilled nursing care. In this article, we will clarify the basics of GIP for hospice, including eligibility requirements, settings, doctor's orders, plan of care, documentation, and education. Additionally, we will provide real-life cases to illustrate the application of GIP in hospice care.
Read MoreGeneral Inpatient (GIP) Level of Care for Hospice Explained

Tips for new hospice nurses doing an admission

If you are a new nurse to hospice, one of the tasks you probably dread is doing an admission especially if you have scheduled visits the same day as the admission. I would like to share with you some tips that when applied may help lower your stress level, and help you remain on time even in cases where you have three to four visits including recertification to do the same day.
Read MoreTips for new hospice nurses doing an admission

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive updates on new articles to your inbox.

The emails we will send you only deal with educational articles, not requests to buy a single thing! Read our privacy policy for more information.