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From Our Medical Director: Stephen Goldfine, MD, DABFP, CAQGM, DABHPM

The Right Care at the Right Time

As healthcare professionals, we dedicate ourselves to the well-being of our patients. But when a cure no longer seems viable, helping our patients live as fully and meaningfully through the last stages of illness is the next step in the continuum of care. Instead of saying there’s “nothing more” that can be done, hospice and palliative care is the "something more" that can enhance your patients' hope for a good quality of life, and minimize their pain and symptoms. 

Referral Benefits to Your Patients and Their Families

•    Plan of care approved by you
•    Round-the-clock access to care team with evening, weekend and holiday visits as necessary
•    Reduced out-of-pocket expenses with full range of benefits covered by Medicare,
     Medicaid, VA and most major insurers
•    Medications and medical equipment/supplies related to the hospice diagnosis delivered to patient's residence
•    Bedside education to increase confidence of caregivers in their new role
•    Assistance with pain and symptom management, advanced directives, funeral planning and connection to
      community resources
•    Comforting complementary therapies including: massage, music, pet and aromatherapy
•    Expert wound care team
•    Evidence-based, proven practices
•    13 months of bereavement support for surviving family members

Benefits to Your Practice

•    Easy and timely referral process: Same-day admissions seven days a week
•    Reimbursement assistance through in-services and guidelines that outline proper documentation for office
      visits/consults and care plan oversight
•    Clinical team serves as an extension of your practice, working with you to provide medical, emotional,
      spiritual and practical support.
•    Dedicated on-call staff to answer patient and family calls 24-hours a day
•    Consultation and collaboration with our board-certified hospice and palliative care medical director and physicians
•    Your choice whether to continue care of your patient or transfer care to our physicians' service
•    Satisfied patients and families who appreciate the help and support made possible by your referral to Samaritan Hospice

The Benefits of Early Referral

The sooner a patient begins hospice care, the more positive an impact Samaritan can make on the quality of life for the patient and his/her entire family. But consider these facts:

•    Only one out of every four eligible patients ever gets referred for hospice care.
•    The national average length of hospice stay is 36 days despite the fact that Medicare will cover six months
      with additional 60-day benefit periods for as long as needed.
•    28 percent of hospice patients die within seven days of referral.
•    HCFA states that the national average cost of a hospital day for a terminally ill patient is $2500
     compared to $123 per day for a hospice patient cared for in the comfort of home.

Not Sure When to Refer?

Prognostication has never been an exact science. One simple rule of thumb is to ask yourself: Would I be surprised if this patient were not alive in six months?  If you answered "no" - that you would not be surprised - then your patient is eligible for hospice care. For diagnosis-specific Medicare/Medicaid criteria to determine timely hospice and palliative care eligibility, visit our online referral guide or call (800) 229-8183.

To find out if your patient may be eligible for Samaritan Palliative Partners, and to learn more about the program, see our Palliative Partners vs. Hospice chart.
 

 

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