Every March 30th, we get the opportunity to recognize physicians across America for their contributions in caring for us all. At Heart ‘n Home, we have Hospice Physicians who work with each of our teams. When a person starts hospice, their physician can continue to manage their care, but as added support, our Hospice Physicians are there to help.
Our Hospice Physicians are a big part of our Interdisciplinary Team (IDT.) Their role is to supervise clinical care and also make sure it is in compliance with Medicare rules and regulations specific to hospice. How active they are with your care depends on what you and your doctor choose. The Hospice Physician’s role is not only to supervise care but also to be a support to our Nurses and the Primary/Attending Physicians if they are involved.
Physicians are welcome to stay involved in their patient’s hospice care. Patients often really enjoy having their doctor follow them, it helps them feel more secure when someone who already knows them is involved. But sometimes there are reasons why a physician would suggest having a Hospice Physician manage care instead. Some physicians are reluctant to take on hospice care because they want to make sure someone is available 24/7 for the patient. Others don’t feel comfortable with end-of-life care and the medicines that are commonly used. With Heart ‘n Home, a physician can be involved as much as they would like to be in their patient’s care. We can be flexible with the amount of care that the Hospice Physician provides and what your physician would like to provide. If they want to take care of the calls during the day, we can take the calls during the night. Or if they continue to provide care and there is a complicated nuance with a pain medication or if a symptom is difficult to manage, we can always provide support in that way as well.
In addition to our Hospice Physician, our Nurses will work closely with your physician. We will make sure there is good communication between everyone so that we can provide the best possible care. We love it when we can take advantage of the continuity in the knowledge and the relationship that’s been built between a primary care physician, oncology, nephrology, you name it “ology provider” and his or her patient.
We want physicians to be involved in their patient’s care if that is your preference, but know that our Hospice Physicians are here to support you. We are happy to work alongside you.
Tina McGuffey, MD, ABHPM
Emmett Heart ‘n Home Hospice
Mark Greene, MD
Bend & La Pine Heart ‘n Home Hospice