NHPCO’s Offers Guidance to Help People Make a Choice about a Hospice Provider
(Alexandria, Va) – When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious or life-limiting illness, the questions facing an individual or a family can be overwhelming. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recommends that people learn more about hospice as an important option before they are faced with a medical crisis.
A free worksheet from NHPCO, Choosing a Quality Hospice, will help patients and families with some of the important questions they should consider when learning about or choosing a hospice.
Some basic points about hospice that are helpful to know:
- Hospice provides person- and family-centered, interdisciplinary team care that focuses on medical, emotional, social, and spiritual support.
- Hospice is not a place but a compassionate kind of care the provides dignity and respect for the wishes of the patient and family.
- Most hospice is provided in the home which is where eight out of 10 people who prefer to be if possible, research has shown.
- Family caregivers play an integral part in caring for their loved one and hospice offers education and support to take on this very personal and intimate task.
- Hospice is benefit people are entitled to and is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance programs.
“With multiple hospices serving most communities, it can seem overwhelming to select one,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “We want to ensure that all people in need of this person-centered care find a quality provider and that’s why we’ve created this worksheet with helpful questions.”
“It is also so important to learn about the options for hospice before they might need them. Hospices are happy to help people understand the range of services offered and when might be the best time for a person to transition to hospice care,” Banach added. NHPCO suggests the best way to begin is by reaching out to the hospice providers in your area to find the one best equipped to meet your specific needs.
Some of the questions important in choosing a quality hospice include:
- Is the hospice Medicare certified?
- When was the last state or federal survey of the program?
- Is the hospice accredited by a national organization?
- What services should I expect from the hospice?
- How are services provided after hours?
- How and where does hospice provide short-term inpatient care?
- How long does it typically take the hospice to enroll someone once the request for services is made?
- Is the hospice a member of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization?
Another question is when to begin hospice care. Every patient and family must decide that based upon their unique needs, however, professionals encourage people to learn about care options long before they think they may need them.
Your physician, other healthcare providers, or family friends that has taken advantage of hospice services in the past is another way to get a recommendation for a provider in your area.
Vice President, Communications
NHPCO, VP of Communications