Every patient in hospice is under the care of a hospice physician who closely monitors the progression of the patient’s illness, prescribes appropriate medications and coordinates care with other members of the team.
A hospice physician is a key member of the hospice team that cares for each hospice patient and oversees the hospice plan of care. The hospice physician can also work closely with the patient’s personal physician.
Hospice physicians help the team maximize patients’ comfort and ability to function as the person and family cope with a terminal illness. Such care includes helping patients/families identify and address their goals — including symptom relief, counseling, spiritual comfort, and other supports that will enhance their quality of life.
At Serenity Point Hospice, our hospice physicians are experienced specialists in hospice and palliative medicine, as well as such specialties as family practice, internal medicine, and geriatrics. They have expertise in pain and symptom management — the hallmarks of hospice care.
In addition, Serenity Point Hospice physicians have excellent communication and conflict-resolution skills to help patients, families and staff deal with the difficult issues and decision that can arise when someone is terminally ill. They are well-versed in current principles of care quality and ethical issues in hospice care.
What Does a Hospice Doctor Do?
A hospice doctor approves patients for hospice admission, oversees patients’ hospice care teams, and re-certifies patients for continued hospice care. These physicians are available to visit patients as needed, and to consult with patients’ personal doctors and other physicians in the community.
They can see a patient at home, in a long-term care facility, or at an inpatient hospice center.
At Serenity Point Hospice, our hospice physicians:
- Provide medical consultation to all hospice personnel.
- Participate in hospice team meetings to discuss care of individual patients.
- Provide comprehensive medical consultations to the hospice staff, including the most current knowledge in hospice care.
- Communicate with patients’ personal physicians as needed.
- Provide education and training to hospice personnel, volunteers, patients, and families, as needed.
- Understand relevant rules and regulations of state and federal entities, including the Medicare hospice benefit.
- Participate on Serenity Point's Ethics Committee, where they provide extensive knowledge of medical ethics to assist with complex care choices and related issues.
- Participate in Serenity Point's quality assurance programs, including performance improvement and customer/employee satisfaction programs.
- Participate on Serenity Point’s Professional Advisory Committee, which establishes and reviews the organization’s policies and advises Serenity Point's on professional issues, among other duties.
- Serve as a liaison between Serenity Point Hospice and the medical community.