Our relative came home from the hospital in an altered state, but had no terminal illness or condition. When she returned to a normal state and expressed desire to eat, drink, exercise, and be outdoors it was discouraged and opposed by this hospice agency. After persistent calls and wading through their bureaucratic process, a limited degree of palliative care was agreed upon.
After nutrition and hydration were given for 2 weeks, she had marked improvement and when desire to leave hospice for home health care that would provide more complete palliative and recuperative care was expressed, St Michaels opposed and discouraged it. The family had to insist and fight to revoke hospice and be discharged so appropriate home health could be initiated. Later we found it to be because of the way Medicare pays hospice costs - if a patient is in hospice for less than one month, costs are not reimbursed or at same levels as if they remain on hospice for more than a month or die within the first month of admission.
Cause of death paperwork was filled out upon admission to home hospice from the hospital -- this was premature, unethical, and possibly a violation of medicare standards and medical protocols. Filings have been made with state and federal authorities on these matters.
Hospice agency's relationship to home health agency Sonnet is a cause for concern and possible conflict of interest, and it led to many contradictory practices and communications to family.
We had contact with the following departments/groups within St Michaels and give them the following scores.
Rating out of 5: Quality of nursing (3/5), Social workers (4/5), Chaplain (5/5), Administrative (1/5).