What does the hospice admission process involve?
One of the first things hospice will do is contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient at this time. (Hospices have medical staff available to help patients who have no physician.) The patient will also be asked to sign consent and insurance forms. These are similar to the forms patients sign when they enter a hospital. The so-called hospice election form says that the patient understands that the care is palliative (that is, aimed at pain relief and symptom control) rather than curative. It also outlines the services available. The form Medicare patients sign also tells how electing the Medicare hospice benefit affects other Medicare coverage for a terminal illness.