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What Does a Hospice Admission Include?

by Ellen Coughlin, End-of-Life Expert
March 21, 2013

Question: My family has been considering the option of hospice for my uncle who lives alone and has been falling ill on and off recently. We are daunted by what’s required for hospice. What does the hospice admission process involve?

Answer: It sounds like hospice care may be an option for your uncle. The majority of hospice programs have an intake or admissions department that can help guide you through the process. You will most likely be asked questions about your uncle’s medical history, health insurance and living situation. You will also have to provide the name and contact information of his primary care physician.

After this initial contact with the hospice provider, they will reach out to your uncle’s doctor who will help determine his eligibility for hospice care. If hospice is in fact an option, the hospice staff will schedule a visit to your uncle’s home at a time and date convenient to him and your family. Many hospices can accommodate evening and weekend admission visits.

During the admission visit, you can expect the hospice team to ask questions to gather more in-depth information about your uncle and to start to identify the medications, supplies, medical equipment and staff members that will best need his needs. Please keep in mind that throughout this process you and your uncle will be involved in an open discussion with the hospice providers and should feel free to voice any concerns or questions.

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Ellen P. Coughlin, RN, MPA, MA, CHPN, has been the Vice President of Patient and Family Services for Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center, a Barnabas Health facility located in northern New Jersey, since 1997. Currently serving as a Board Member for the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NJHPCO), Ellen is also a member of the NJHPCO’s Pediatric End-of-Life Care Committee/Quality Partner Committee.

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