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Keywords

hospice, interdisciplinary teams, Medicare hospice requirements, team meetings

 

Authors

  1. Wittenberg-Lyles, Elaine M. PhD
  2. Oliver, Debra Parker MSW, PhD
  3. Demiris, George PhD
  4. Courtney, Karen L. PhD, RN

Abstract

In response to federal law, which requires hospices to provide end-of-life care in an interdisciplinary team format, most hospices conduct team meetings to coordinate holistic plans of care for patients. The goal of this study was to uncover the structural characteristics of hospice interdisciplinary team meetings and learn more about common practices among hospice organizations. A total of 191 hospice agencies participated in a semi-structured phone survey regarding interdisciplinary team practices. The study found that not all hospices are fulfilling federally regulated requirements. Although the average hospice interdisciplinary team meeting is held once a week, lasts 1 to 2 hours, and consists of 10 to 20 people, this study reveals variation within the number and types of disciplines participating in interdisciplinary team meetings. Suggestions for future action are provided.