As the end of life approaches, physicians often initiate hospice referrals – although other medical professionals and families can also recommend it. In recent years, there has been an increase in earlier-stage referrals for patients nearing the end of their lives here in the U.S., suggesting that more people recognize its many benefits.
What is hospice?
Hospice is a form of medical care that provides support and comfort to those facing life-limiting illnesses or terminal conditions. It’s a compassionate approach focusing on the patient’s quality of life rather than curative treatments.
Who can make a hospice referral?
However, an authorized professional must make a referral to receive hospice care. Let’s look at other relevant questions, who can make a hospice referral, and how the process works.
Physicians as Referrers
The most common source for hospice referrals is physicians. Physicians are in the best position to assess whether or not an individual’s condition qualifies them for hospice care based on the criteria set out by Medicare and other health insurance companies. As such, physicians are usually the first ones consulted when someone needs hospice assistance.
Other Health Professionals
In addition to physicians, other health professionals may also refer patients to hospice services if they believe it is necessary or beneficial. For example, nurses may recognize symptoms of deterioration in their patients before doctors do and suggest they seek additional care through hospice services.
Other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, clergy members, and home health aides, may also refer patients for hospice care, depending on their circumstances and needs.
It’s important to note that family members or caregivers can also make referrals for hospice services for their loved ones if they believe it is necessary or appropriate. Before referrals are made by anyone other than healthcare professionals, however, all parties involved must discuss the matter and agree on which treatment plan best suits the individual in question.
Caregivers can also make referrals for their loved ones with prior consent from all parties involved. Ultimately, only trained healthcare professionals have the experience and expertise to decide whether someone should pursue hospice care.
Hospice care offers invaluable support and comfort for those facing serious illness or terminal conditions; however, for individuals to receive this type of compassionate medical care, a referral must first be made by an authorized professional such as a physician or another health professional like a nurse or social worker.
Understanding who can make a hospice referral is key in helping those seeking this type of medical assistance get the support they need during difficult times. Superb Hospice provides the best care in Southern California. To get started with your referral, use the hospice referral form to ensure a smooth transition into hospice services.