When to refer a patient and how to have this discussion
It’s simple to refer your patient to receive palliative care services. As the patient’s primary care physician, you must certify that the patient is medically appropriate for palliative care. Keystone will work with you to obtain this verification if the patient is in agreement to receive the palliative care services.
By providing effective care coordination with special attention to care transitions, our team can help improve the patient’s quality of life while also decreasing hospitalization. Since palliative care works in tandem with those providing treatment, it is never too early to begin palliative care.
Remember, palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Any patient, in any setting, with severe illness who needs pain and symptom management can benefit from palliative care.
In fact, even those who qualify for hospice care can benefit, since some patients resist hospice admission due to the end-of-life “stigma” that’s often attached. However, such patients may embrace the option for palliative care instead—which can rapidly improve quality of life and aid in the smooth transition into hospice care when the patient is ready.
Since palliative care services can be delivered anywhere—including patients’ homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and clinics—these services help to bridge the support and treatment gap to enhance quality of life and prevent hospitalizations.
Many providers don’t know where to turn when their patients with severe illness begin to experience symptoms they’re not sure how to address.
And that’s where we come in.
If you’re looking for a collaborative approach with a team of palliative care experts to help meet your patients’ needs—call us. We can help.
For more information about Keystone Medical Services or to make a referral, please contact 616.396.5444 to speak with one of our clinical support nurses.