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Jul 8, 2022

In the final episode of our Patient Right series, we’re talking about the right to choose medications, equipment, and who makes visits to the home.  The care that’s provided for a hospice patient is collected into something called a Plan of Care.  That Plan of Care includes every intervention the hospice team provides, including medications, any medical equipment that’s needed, and which disciplines on the hospice team will make visits with the patient.  There’s a lot of information in a Plan of Care and should be individualized to the patient’s and caregiver’s needs. Medications are a big part of the Plan of Care.  The doctor orders what is needed and decides what’s contraindicated (not a good idea to take), but the patient or responsible caregiver gets to determine which meds will be taken.  Medications that are related to the patient’s terminal prognosis or diagnosis should be paid for by the hospice agency.  Medical equipment that is used to help seriously ill patients is also part of the Plan of Care.  The cost of that equipment is covered by the hospice agency, but the agency decides which equipment they’ll cover.  Not every patient needs every piece of equipment that’s offered.  Sometimes the patient or caregiver doesn’t want bulky equipment in their home.  It’s the patient’s right to choose what equipment gets brought in.  When it comes to which members of the hospice team make visits with the patient, the patient is the decision-maker here as well.  Except for the nurse, visits from the other team members can be refused by the patient. The nurse visits are mandatory to meet regulatory requirements.  It’s always best to allow a visit from every discipline on the team (nurse, social worker, chaplain, aide, volunteer) to make the most of the care opportunities.  Listen to the other episodes in the Know Your Rights series to get a complete picture of the rights of hospice patients! 


Find the full listing of Patient Rights here:

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

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