How to Choose Hospice Care

Determining the correct hospice care you or perhaps a cherished one requires at the end-of-life might seem such as a daunting task to take on during a currently difficult time. In a current blog describing hospice and palliative care, I’ve received many responses from readers who would like to know how to pick a hospice program that’s right for them. Several readers have shared their experiences with me on hospice care; some good, and others bad. I have compiled some suggestions from industry experts to simply help take the guesswork out of selecting a hospice hospice care provider.

Among the first things to remember when beginning your look for hospice care is to appreciate hospices are first and foremost a business, and while a well-intended business, they need yours. That said, it`s important to ask questions and get answers before committing to anything. Differences between hospices tend to be hard to find out while they tend to provide similar services. While memberships in state hospice organizations and The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) may appear impressive, they are open to any hospice. What does matter is that a hospice is Medicare certified, as Medicare supplies the baseline requirements for quality care.

To qualify for Medicare certification, hospices must offer 16 separate core and auxiliary services. Core services include bereavement counseling, nutritional services and doctor services. Continuous home care, physical therapy, medication administration and household services are typical samples of auxiliary services. Also important is whether a hospice will accept your insurance. The Hospice Blog offers some very nice advice and tips that will assist streamline the search process for you. First, find out who owns the hospice agency you’re considering, and what the owner`s background is. Could be the hospice service nonprofit, for profit or government operated? The kind of ownership may influence the services a hospice patient receives. And talk to the administrator when contacting a hospice.

Let’s face it, the administrator has got the authority to express yes or no to anything the hospice office assistant or hospice employer has promised you. When you have found a hospice that meets your preferences, make certain it’s your home office, rather than a branch. Generally, the nurse who resides at the house office has use of the person in charge. Branch offices usually do not have employees who make financial or business decisions. Finally, before picking a hospice, discover where the on-call nurse lives. If the nurse lives far from the patient requiring hospice care, the response time will take longer.

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