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When to Consider a Hospice Referral

Our specialty-trained hospice care professionals work with physicians and other health care providers to offer end-of-life services. If you’re a physician with patients who have end-stage diseases, consider palliative and hospice care at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

When is it time for hospice?

Physicians often ask us when patients should be referred for hospice or palliative care. One possible question to ask yourself: would you be surprised if your patient died in the next year? If the answer is no, you might consider whether your patient and his or her family would benefit from being aware of all of their options to make an informed decision.

You may refer patients ages 18 and older, with any condition you consider to be life-limiting. Some common diagnoses include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Stroke

Our Access Team will then work closely with you to determine eligibility.

In addition, patients who have the following end-stage diseases may also be hospice appropriate:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Renal disease

How to refer your patients

We work with physicians and practitioners in the communities we serve, as well as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities. For more information, call our Access Team at 1-866-969-7028.

If you are a Virginia Mason Franciscan Health provider

Order Hospice in EPIC:

  • Open the patient’s EPIC chart, then go to ORDERS.
  • Type in HOSPICE and Hospice Inpatient Consult (outpatient consult for non-hospital-based Franciscan Medica Group physicians) will be available. You may need to click on the facility preference list tab.
  • Select “Hospice Inpatient Consult,” and an order box will pop up.
  • Inside the pop-up box, please indicate whether the consult is ROUTINE or STAT.
  • Describe the reason for the consult, and select if the RN/Secretary is to contact the consulting provider (this selection defaults to Yes).
  • ACCEPT the order and SIGN the order.

If you are ready to refer a patient and you’re not a Virginia Mason Franciscan Health physician

Please fax the following information to 253-534-7098:

  • Face sheet
  • Latest H & P
  • Current Rx list
  • Discharge summary from any recent hospitalizations