For a long time, the medical director or physician in hospice care was deemed as the lowest alternative to the mainstream medical services. The position was either filled up by a retiring medical physician, a struggling medical practitioner, or some volunteer. It took a while for the hospices to identify the role of a physician as an integral core part. The task of a hospice doctor includes approving the admission of a patient and overseeing the treating team schedule and being a part of all the treatment plans and counseling the team. This however does not necessarily involve direct contact with the patient or the family. The team monitored by the medical director is called an interdisciplinary team. This team consists of chaplains, nurses, aides, social workers and volunteers
The main focus of the hospice medical director is to administer the end-of-life care plan for the patient. This involves them assessing the needs of the patient and developing a care plan and are responsible for communicating this plan to the team. The medical director is also liable to change the plan as the needs change and also communicate the same to the team.
Delivering the most efficient overall care is the primary responsibility of the hospice medical director. In general, the majority of the medical directors work only a few hours, monitoring the relationship between the hospice agency and the patient. They are not present daily, but they supervise the formal discussion and are equally accountable for the same. As many times, the director is not involved directly, they rely highly on the documented records, communication with the team and their experienced professional judgement.
The roles of a Hospice Doctor/ Physician include:
- They have access to every aspect of the care plan of the patient
- They are responsible for certifying the patient for terminal illness
- Orientation about the necessary steps
- Understand & accommodate the family’s expectation
What a Hospice Director/ Physician Job Description looks like?
- Should have completed medical education and a residency training
- Fellowship in Palliative Medicine would be appreciable
- Relevant in geriatrics medicine, palliative medicine or others is a must
- Certified Hospice Program with administrative experience
- Physician Licensure by the state as a medical or osteopathic doctor is a must
- Valid driving license and an insured automobile
Additional Skills & Knowledge:
- Well demonstrated skills in philosophy & medical aspects of hospice care
- Focusing on accuracy and details
- Leadership and communication skills
- Time management and organizational skills
Duties of a Hospice Doctor/ Physician include :
- Prepare an oversight of the medical program to ensure an adequate need coverage
- Review every visit and ensure an accurate billing
- Guidance and resolution of conflict and ethical issues
- Assist in reviewing and developing clinical procedures and protocols
- Allocation of resources
How A*Med Community Hospice’s Medical Director/ Physicians Stands Out
We understand that the patient and the family go through a tough medical condition. That’s why we assure the support of a reliable hospice medical director, who also monitors that comprehensive home care services and other accessible interventions. While a number of hospice doctors don’t pay a personal visit, our physicians actively engage. Our synergistic model allows the team to have flexible interpersonal communication and thus develop a unique care plan for every patient. Our medical directors spend a good amount of time with the family and explain to them the things a patient might be undergoing. We consider this as the most important role of our medical directors, as it ensures that the families are in the loop and thus make well-informed decisions.