Picking a personal physician is a very important choice. It’s so important that Medicare has actually written special rules protecting this right for hospice patients. When the patient elects to receive hospice care, the patient, or patient’s representative, must sign a form identifying the name of the attending physician along with an acknowledgement that the selection of this physician was the patient’s own choice.
Who Pays for the Personal Physician?
If the hospice correctly applies Medicare’s billing rules, the patient’s attending physician will be able to continue to bill Medicare and be paid.
How Does a Personal Physician Work with the Hospice?
When a patients enter hospice care, they are cared for by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals. This team includes: a medical director, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, bereavement counselors, and, if the patient wishes, a personal attending physician. The attending physician is an important part of the hospice medical team, and the patient may choose to continue to visit the attending physician while receiving hospice care.