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Carefully Speaking Part 1

By brian barrick
May 23, 2012

For many terminally ill patients, hospice care offers a humane and dignified alternative to conventional medical treatment. It has become an increasingly accepted option for end-of-life care over the past two decades, with approximately 1.5 million Americans receiving hospice services from approximately 5,000 programs. These programs operate within a variety of settings, ranging from home care to hospital inpatient units, assisted living facilities and skilled care organizations. In order to offer consumers great choice, some hospice providers have added new services and levels of care, and/or formed partnerships with aging services organizations. Because of these great growths, there are administrative and clinical risk exposures. Some of these risks include uninformed benefit election, failure to certify patients as terminally ill, inappropriate level of care, denial of access to services, deficient care planning and related documentation, unsupervised volunteer staff, and lack of coordination, which will be explained more in the next blog. By attempting to improve your administrative procedures, clinical documentation, communication and supervision, hospice providers can prevent risks.

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