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September 2012
Featured Story

Hospice Suite now open at NCH

Northwest Community Healthcare has expanded its partnership with Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter to open a hospice care suite on 9 East at the Hospital. Opened earlier this month, The Midwest CareCenter Hospice Suite at NCH provides specialized hospice care to seriously-ill patients and their families in an inpatient setting that's close to home.

"We are pleased to partner with Midwest CareCenter on this important program. The Hospice Suite meets a real need in our community," said Karen Colby, MS, RN, NCH's vice president of Patient Care Services. "The development of this program is the result of NCH's commitment to integrate the full continuum of care services within a single and accessible system of care."

While hospice care is traditionally provided where the patient lives, some patients are faced with more serious, acute symptoms that require a higher and more concentrated level of hospice care, which is now available at NCH. A full complement of psychological and spiritual support services also are available to hospice patients and their families. These include grief support and music therapy, as well as spiritual- and faith-based support, including Jewish care services. Midwest CareCenter has the only two music-thanantologists in the Chicago area.

A Home-Like Setting

From the décor and the furnishings to visitor amenities, the seven-bed Hospice Suite has been designed with both the patient and family in mind, creating a "home away from home" setting. Each patient room includes a daybed for a guest to stay overnight, and the Suite features a kitchenette, meditation room and family lounge so loved ones can remain nearby to relax and refresh. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day and arrangements can be made for pets to visit, too.

Hospice Staff and Attending Physician's Role

The Hospice Suite is staffed by Midwest CareCenter's interdisciplinary team of hospice specialists. The team is comprised of specially trained physicians, nurses, certified nurse's aides, social workers, chaplains and bereavement counselors.

A patient's physician can serve as the attending physician on the Hospice Suite, or a hospice physician can be designated. The role of an attending physician on the Hospice Suite is to oversee medical care, to write orders, to remain on call, and to bill Medicare B using modifiers (GV related to hospice diagnosis or GW unrelated to hospice diagnosis). If the patient is discharged from the Hospice Suite to another care facility, the patient's physician has the option to resume attending physician duties, if desired.

Hospitalists will not follow patients on the Hospice Suite.

Referring to the Hospice Suite at NCH

Any patient needing hospice care can be referred to the Midwest CareCenter Hospice Suite at NCH. Patients can be admitted from an NCH acute care inpatient unit, the NCH Emergency Room or home. From the NCH inpatient setting, the referral process remains the same. Once an order is placed and the referral process is complete, a Midwest CareCenter admission nurse will evaluate the patient for eligibility and level of care.

To refer patients from the home setting, call Midwest CareCenter Access Center at 847.467.7423. Referrals can be placed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For More Information

Questions? Physicians can contact Alan Smookler, MD, assistant medical director of the Hospice Suite at NCH, at 847.467.7423, or Cathleen Adams, vice president of Midwest CareCenter Clinical Services, at 847.556.1569.

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Last Updated 2012/09/25