Sepsis Prognosis and Hospice Eligibility

We offered this webinar on September 12 and September 19, 2019. 

The goal of this webinar is to educate healthcare clinicians about the history, incidence, impact and identification of sepsis in the acute-care setting.

Hospice care is inadequately utilized for patients with sepsis, a serious condition that results in 250,000 US deaths each year and an annual $3.5 billion in hospital readmission costs.

What Attendees Learned at This Webinar

  1. Sepsis is a serious, life-threatening illness brought on by the body’s response to an infection. It affects about 1.5 million Americans each year. About 30% of sepsis patients die in the hospital or soon after they are discharged, and an estimated 25%-50% of hospital deaths are sepsis-related.
  2. Because of its severity, sepsis protocols call for rapid identification, standard management and timely referral to hospice care.
  3. About 40% of patients with sepsis are eligible for hospice upon admission to the hospital. Sepsis-related hospice eligibility includes an underlying diagnosis (cancer, heart disease, lung disease, dementia), physical impairment or clinical complications from sepsis such as, use of vasopressors or mechanical ventilation, thrombocytopenia, or hyperlactemia.
  4. Hospice is also an important post-acute care option for patients with prior functional and cognitive impairment who survive hospitalization for sepsis and are at risk for post-sepsis syndrome.
  5. The majority of sepsis infections (63%) are community-acquired, 26% are associated with healthcare (e.g., nursing home stay, recent hospitalization, dialysis) and 11% are acquired in the hospital. The most common infection sites are pneumonia, abdominal, genitourinary, primary bacteremia and skin/soft tissue.
  6. The ICD-10 description for sepsis includes three-step coding for the underlying infection, for the sepsis diagnosis and for organ dysfunction.

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Featured VITAS Expert

Faith Protsman, MD

Faith Protsman, MD

Regional Medical Director - California, VITAS Healthcare

Faith Protsman, MD is regional medical director for VITAS programs throughout California, responsible for overseeing and leading the medical direction for VITAS locations in the East Bay, Oakland and the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Fernando, San Francisco and San Gabriel.

Dr. Protsman is board certified in general medicine and as a hospice medical director. She is sole proprietor and physician of a full-range family practice, the owner and counselor of the Center for Stress Management, and the initiator of a successful community-based hospital palliative care and hospice program, each in Gilroy, California.

Dr. Protsman earned her medical degree from University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. She completed her internship at the Letterman Army Medical Center in the Department of Internal Medicine in San Francisco, California. Dr. Protsman is an active member of the California Medical Association, American Academy of General Practice and Santa Clara County Medical Association.