By Victor Montour
J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, President and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization posted information on his website bringing attention to the importance of using terminal prognosis.
In his talking points he points out as providers of hospice care, we must reframe the way we characterize our patients. He goes on to say that we have to move away from using just one single diagnosis to using a more comprehensive list of diagnosis that utilizes all diagnoses and conditions that contribute to the patient’s terminal prognosis.
In 1983 the Medicare hospice benefit’s definition was written and in it, the definition of “terminally ill” has always included the term “medical prognosis”. This definition has not changed over the years. Most hospice providers have forgotten that eligibility for hospice has always hinged on a patients terminal prognosis.
Donald goes on to say that regulators and legislators are concerned that hospice providers may be falling into a pattern of narrowly defining a patient’s condition and we are failing to deliver the full array of services that hospice providers should be responsible for.
The NHPCO strongly feels that the hospice physician is the most appropriate professional to determine whether something is related to the terminal prognosis. Front Range Hospice has always listed a primary diagnosis for hospice care and all supporting diagnosis’s so we can focus on our patient’s terminal prognosis. Providing a full picture of our patient’s current medical condition gives our caregivers, families and hospice team the best opportunity to provide Legendary Care.
If you would like more information about Front Range Hospice or what is Terminal Prognosis, please call 303-957-3101 or 970-776-8080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch out for our next blog: When to Call Hospice