"When people are relatively comfortable
and know that they are not going to be
abandoned, they frequently find ways to
strengthen bonds with people they love
and to create moments of profound
meaning in their final passage."
-Ira Byock, M.D.
Any patient with a life-limiting illness of 6 months or with a desire to focus on comfort rather than curative care.
Role of the Attending Physician
Most patients and physicians choose to maintain their relationship throughout Hospice.
You have an existing role of trust and familiarity with your patient and family and you are an important part of the hospice team.
You will provide care plan oversight, review and approve or amend hospice orders, receive updated plans of care, participate in telephone consultations with Hospice staff, and have access to the Hospice care team at all times.
Billing while a patient is on Hospice
You can bill for your visits while your patient is on Hospice.
You will bill Medicare for your services provided as you always would, but add a modifier.
If you see your patient related to the primary hospice diagnosis, add modifier GV.
If you see your patient for a reason unrelated to the primary hospice diagnosis, add modifier GW.
You may also bill for Care Plan Oversight as long as you are providing the qualified activities.
Schedule an appointment with one of our staff to learn more about billing or how to easily manage patient orders and provide plan oversight from your office.
How do I know if my patient will qualify?
If your patient has a life-limiting illness and wishes to focus on comfort care, contact Atlanta Family Hospice for an assessment. We will let you know if your patient qualifies for Hospice Care.
Some signs it may be time to discuss Hospice include:
• Loss of function or physical decline
• Increase in hospitalizations
• Multiple medical conditions
• Continuing weight loss
• Dependence in activities of daily living
• Treatment options no longer enhance or prolong quality of life
How long can a patient remain on Hospice?
As long a s the patient continues to show decline and still maintain a prognosis of 6 months or less.
What if the patient improves?
The patient will be discharged from Hospice if he/she improves and no longer meets hospice criteria.
What if the patient changes his/her mind?
A patient can revoke Hospice at any time, for any reason.
What if my patient needs to transfer to a nursing home?
You can still remain the attending Physician and Atlanta Family Hospice Care can remain the Hospice all care settings. Atlanta Family Hospice Care will help them identify nursing homes near their home, guide them through and facilitate the transfer. We can advise your patients which nursing homes you visit if you have nursing home privileges.
Do I need to use the hospice affiliated with my hospital or nursing home?
No. All patients and families have a choice in selecting the Hospice company they would like to provide their end-of-life care. Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Physicians are mandated to offer choice and honor their patient's wishes. Many patients and families like the benefit of choosing an independently owned hospice with a mission for caring for patients in the community.
Does my patient need a DNR?
No. Patients can be admitted to Hospice without a signed DNR. Hospice will continue to discuss Advance Directives and will work toward a DNR in most cases. However, a DNR is not required to be on Hospice.