How to Choose a Hospice Program

If you or a loved one is managing a terminal condition, End of life care may seem like an overwhelming consideration. Hospice is devoted to improving the quality of a person’s End of Life by providing comfort and compassion to both the patient and their loved ones.

When considering hospice care, how will you choose a program that best fits your own or a loved one’s needs?

Things to Consider When Choosing a Hospice Program

The relationship between a terminally ill patient and their hospice caregiver is based on sensitivity and trust. When choosing a hospice program, begin with your first impressions after meeting the hospice representatives. They often indicate the quality of the relationship you will have with your hospice providers.

Then consider the following questions and recommendations:

  • Do others recommend this hospice?
    Get referrals from friends, local hospitals, assisted living or nursing homes or healthcare providers. Geriatric Care Managers also make hospice referrals based on what they learn from families they serve.
  • Is this hospice Medicare or Medicaid-certified?
    Medicare is the primary reimbursement source for hospice care. Medicare certification is important if the patient is a Medicare recipient.
  • Can this hospice meet your loved one’s care needs?
    Discuss your care concerns. Ask how they will be addressed.
  • Are there limits to treatment?
    Ask if the care that the patient receives now is provided by this hospice. For example, services like chemotherapy may not be offered by all hospices.
  • What personal care services are provided?
    Confirm whether personal care services like bathing, dressing or eating are provided.
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