When should you ask for a palliative care consult? According to Obama Care every five years, if you are on Medicare and Social Security, but the actually time should be when you have a terminal illness and the doctor gives you a prognosis of a year or less. If you have a family member that has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, ask your primary physician about hospice care. Hospice care will not only help the patient but also the family. The patient can keep their primary physician and not have to go back and forth to hospitals and can stay home with family and people who care about them.
The doctor who understands the patient best and has the closest relationship is usually the referring doctor, and can give the most personal medical and emotional support for the patient. In addition, this is the doctor the patient trust and is invaluable to the patient. Patients on hospice gain tremendous assistance from the hospice team, which includes nurses, pharmacists, clergy, social workers, and palliative care physician specialist, but the referring physician still sees the patient as often as the patient needs. The majority of physicians, especially working with a hospice, can give excellent palliative care, most of the time. Occasionally, a patient will have pain that is out of control or another challenging problem and they should be referred to hospice experts. For most patients, who want to stay close to the doctor that knows them the best, that understands them the most, end-of-life care should be as basic as penicillin, chest x-ray or ace wrap. Read more on physicians and palliative care at http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/02/physician-obtain-palliative-care-consult.html?goback=.gde_1845566_member_213918587