Upon election of hospice the patient should expect the hospice to provide for all services related to the patient’s terminal illness and related conditions, including ensuring the patient’s rights are respected. Failure of the hospice to comply with the Medicare requirement related to patient’s rights has the potential to lead significant consequence, such as patient neglect which may cause harm to the patient.
“Neglect in hospice may be difficult to identify and may result from inaction on the part of the hospice or its employees.” Examples of neglect may include:
- The hospice not addressing the psychological, emotional, or spiritual distress of the patient and/or caregiver.
- A failure of the hospice to manage symptoms or conditions in a manner that exacerbates the distress of pain and discomfort for a patient.
- The lack or diversion of comfort medication to address pain and symptom management.
- A failure of the hospice to respond to requests for increased pain control or symptom management.
- The hospice not responding to repeated calls from the patient and/or caregiver for pain or symptom management, including calls on weekends or after normal business hours.
- Failure to deliver medication for pain or symptom management in a timely manner.
- Not providing reasonable and appropriate wound management.
- Insufficient care or a lack of response from the hospice that results in the patient seeking emergency services to alleviate symptoms.*
(*CMS, Fact Sheet, “Safeguards for Medicare Patients in Hospice Care”)
The Tip of the Week is for informational purposes only and how the information is used is left to the reader’s discernment.