It might come as a surprise, but hospice discharges really do happen. These events don’t happen every day, but they’re certainly not unheard of. A patient can be discharged from hospice when their condition improves and they no longer qualify for the hospice benefit. This can happen for one of two reasons:
The patient’s condition no longer has the required six-month diagnosis.
The patient’s condition improved and they no longer meet hospice criteria
Before a patient is discharged there will be a meeting with all members of the patient’s treatment team (medical director, nurses, aides, social worker, and bereavement coordinator). In this meeting, they will discuss the patient’s progress and current condition. If the topic of discharge comes up, they will also consult the family to get their perspective.
In the event of a discharge, the family will be notified and the hospice will begin the discharge process. This process takes some time to be official, and if the patient’s condition changes and is found to be eligible for hospice care, the discharge process will stop.
When a patient is discharged, we will do our best to facilitate a smooth transition back to the medical treatment the patient was receiving prior to hospice care. We will also do occasional check-ins with the patient to see how they’re doing. Once a patient has transitioned out of hospice care, they can come back to hospice at any point (provided their condition meets the qualifications).