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Jun 17, 2022

In episode 3 of our Patient Rights series, we’re talking about the right to choose a physician to manage a patient’s care while on hospice.  When receiving hospice care, the patient or decision-maker has the right to choose which physician will manage care.  The hospice agency is required to let the patient know he can choose an “attending physician”, a doctor who works alongside the hospice medical director and the hospice interdisciplinary team.  Patients often ask a doctor who’s been their primary care provider, someone who knows them well.  Hospice teams are required to include that attending physician in coordinating care.  Some physicians may choose not to be an attending physician when they’re asked.  There are several possible reasons a doctor might not want to be an attending physician.  Maybe symptom management is not their skill set, or they’re not familiar with the kind of care that’s needed at the end of life.  Nurse practitioners can also serve as attending physicians for a hospice patient.  If there isn’t an attending physician the patient would like to continue providing care, the patient can simply choose the hospice medical director as his/her attending physician.  It’s your right!  

Find more Patient Rights here:

Patient Rights Document from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice

Find more information about hospice philosophy, end-of-life care, and self-care for both personal and professional caregivers here

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