Medical & Physicians

Referrals from physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or other long-term care facilities can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 301-861-5300.

Patients to be admitted need to have an attending physician certify that the patient has a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of six months or less. It is important to note that we are committed to keeping each patient under the care of their own physician. We work diligently to keep the attending physician informed, enabling him or her to effectively make decisions regarding the care of the patient. If the attending physician does not wish to follow the patient for hospice care, one of our medical directors can assume that role for the patient’s hospice needs.

Hospice of Charles County does not require a “Do Not Resuscitate” order. Patients with cancer, as well as other end-stage diagnoses, are appropriate for hospice care – about 40 percent of patients have diagnoses other than cancer, such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, end-stage neurological diseases and other system failures.

We can best help patients and their families when we are consulted early in the end-of-life process. We are committed to ensuring that hospice services complement, not compete with, the services that you or your facility provide. This enables patients and caregivers to benefit from the most comprehensive care possible.

If you are not certain that the patient is appropriate for hospice, please call for a consultation with the admissions department. A registered nurse or a social worker can visit to help determine how needs can best be met. Consultation with the admissions team or a medical director is available to physicians who have difficulty in certifying prognosis, or who would like a hospice staff member to meet with the family and provide more information.

Ideally, the staff of the long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities will have discussed the referral with the attending physician or the facility’s medical director. Facility patients in non-skilled beds can use the Medicare Hospice Benefit; skilled patients may elect to pay privately.

For information, or a hospice care consultation, please call 301-861-5300.

General Guidelines to Refer a Patient to Hospice

Ask yourself, “Would I be surprised if my patient wasn’t alive next year?” Medicare guidelines require certification that a patient has life expectancy of six months or less, “if the disease runs its normal course.”

We will meet with the patient and their family and address their concerns, explain our services and help understand Medicare guidelines.
We offer:

  • Nurse availability 24-hours a day
  • Social Workers
  • Chaplains
  • Trained volunteers
  • Bereavement programs for adults and children
  • Help to relieve anxiety and dispel myths during the difficult time

If you’re not sure if your patient would meet the criteria, we will assess and evaluate your patients anytime and where it’s convenient.
We can meet:

  • In your office
  • The patient’s home
  • In the hospital
  • In a skilled nursing, assisted living, senior living or long-term care facility
  • At our office

Call us at 301-861-5300 for an “information only” visit. We are here to help you and your patients.

Physician Service Billing for Hospice Patients with Medicare

Attending Physicians

For the treatment and management of the terminal illness, the physician should bill Part B using the GV modifier. The exception to this would be if the attending physician is also employed by the hospice, in which case he or she would bill the hospice provider. The hospice provider would bill Medicare and reimburse the physician at the Medicare allowable rate. If a physician is covering for the attending physician and is not employed by the hospice, he or she bills using the GV modifier in conjunction with the Q5 modifier.

For services unrelated to the terminal diagnosis, the physician bills using a GW modifier.

Consulting Physicians

These are physicians, other than the attending, who have provided services approved by the hospice and related to the terminal diagnosis. The physician bills the hospice provider. The hospice provider bills Medicare and reimburses the physician the Medicare allowable rate. This requires a one-time contract between the hospice and the physician, which is provided by the hospice.

Click here to view Medicare Guidelines for the hospice benefit. Click here to download the document.

Questions or concerns should be addressed to our team at 301-861-5300.