Hospice Care

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I work in a hospice in the northeast and find myself becoming disillusioned. It seems like it's changed so much since I started. We used to be so patient oriented. Now it seems like its just about money, admissions and paperwork. Is there anyplace??? where its still about the patient?


Posted on 2001/5/12 13:55




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2002/12/10
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
In reply to your thoughts about the direction that it seems some hospices are headed (or engaged) . . . I sure do understand the frustration that you're experiencing about hospice - or healthcare in general - and money.
You know, there has to be some kind of balance between running a business, i.e., paying bills/salaries and making a profit, and keeping the basic mission or philosophy of that healthcare organization functioning and expanding. Now, I'll be the first to admit that this is a tough balancing act to work - however, any business that has as its primary mission to provide care for the physical/emotional/psychological/spiritual/social aspects of individuals yet puts a priority on profit to the detriment of the patient or client, has ethically compromised its mission. Unfortunately, there are some hospice organizations, similar to other healthcare organizations/practices/companies, that seem to have compromised their basic philosophy of caring for patients - as we've seen in the news and experienced first hand, with the health insurance industry, etc. Because hospices can get reimbursed through government programs - Medicare - the red tape, paperwork, details - it can be even harder for a hospice to remember why they are there in the first place - to care for the terminally ill and their families.
Having said that, there are hospices and healthcare organizations that seem to struggle through all of this mess, maintain their business responsiblities, take care of their staff, and keep focused on their priority of offering good patient care. We definitely need to spread the word on these organizations!
I personally believe that the hospice philosophy and the work that they do is enormously important to those facing end-of-life concerns. Actually, I believe that there should be even more good hospice work being done in hospitals, nursing homes and patient's homes -
Okay, I could go on for a while here about the direction that I see the healthcare industry headed - but I'm really interested in hearing more from you, from what you experience from your perspective, and any other thoughts from readers about personal experiences - good and bad - about healthcare/hospices in general! Got any thoughts on the subject?


Posted on 2001/5/14 10:20




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I guess that I hope there are still those hospices that care. I know that there are still those individuals. It's just frustrating. I know what the vision for hospice was - but it seems that someone saw the opportunity to make a buck while doing something altruistic. I think that their business mind started to kick in and it all went down the tubes. What about the Good Samaritan (or Samaritan's?)? Those who take care of the person before the pocketbook? I'm starting to believe that unless health care is primarily altruistic, it's going to end up a massive failure. Ultimately, unless we take care of each other, just because we care, caring medicine is finished. I'm sure there are still those bright spots - the people who go out of their way. But overall, I'm very pessimistic. Hmmm... we wanted reimbursement for hospice, now we've got it. Has it really helped? Thanks for letting me vent. Sorry so negative....


Posted on 2001/8/15 19:59




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From: Rowlett
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Contrary to being negative, it sounds as though you really care about people and want them to be able to receive the best that hospice has to offer. And, when you see services being delivered (or not) that fall short of good healthcare provision, you react like anyone would who genuinely cares.
You know, I think that you continue to address a good point: How does a healthcare service balance business with providing needed health-related interventions? Again, I think that this is a tough balancing act and that one or the other wins out at various times. But the patient needs to be the top priority, or else that patient shouldn't be on that service!
In reality, Medicare reimbursement helped hospices to grow throughout the U.S. That's a good thing. On the reverse side of the coin, reimbursement and government regulations/cutbacks, etc., affected the quality of hospice care. That's when I think that the best that a hospice can offer is through an agency that employs genuinely caring staff and upper management, that remembers the values and ethics which formed its mission statement, and works to deliver the best care they can to patients and their families.
Keep up the good work - we need more people like you in healthcare that want to improve a system when you see the needs . . . Bless you! :smile:


Posted on 2001/8/22 7:38




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