How do I refer my patient?
Once you and your patient agree that hospice will help achieve his/her goals for living out the time remaining, call Benton Hospice Service.
Tell the receptionist you wish to make a referral. This is the information we need about your patient when you make a referral:
- Name, age, DOB
- Phone numbers, address, other contact names and numbers
- Terminal diagnosis
- Primary problems
- Other problems affecting functioning
- Caregivers/family members involved
- How patient is dealing with diagnosis
- Where patient currently is (hospital, facility, home)
- Other physicians involved in care
- Any other pertinent information
We will need a written order for hospice admission, which can be faxed to our office. We also request a history and physical and current medication list for your patient. Documentation of your patient's terminal diagnosis must also be provided.
Once a referral is made, a hospice nurse and social worker contact the patient/family to schedule a visit. Typically the nurse goes first to assess hospice appropriateness, explain hospice services, and collect medical data. The social worker visits to gather signed consent forms, find out how the family is coping, and determine what resources may be needed to meet the challenges ahead.
Once your patient is admitted, you will need to sign and return a physician's order, certification of terminal illness, and a care plan for your patient. You will be sent care plan updates for approval when it's time to recertify the terminal status of your patient. You may request a copy of your patient's care plan at any time.
You will receive updates from the nurse via fax or phone. Requests for medication and treatment changes will also be faxed to you. Your timely response is important. Narcotic orders may be faxed to pharmacies, but a hard copy needs to be sent to the pharmacy within three days; a copy of the fax should also be sent to Benton Hospice Service. Please write Hospice Patient on any prescriptions.
A nurse will be assigned to manage the care of your patient. He or she will lead the hospice team which includes a social worker, and may include some or all of the following team members depending on the needs and wishes of your patient: hospice aide, chaplain, massage therapist, physical or occupational therapist, acupuncturist, and volunteers.