Almost one million people were served by hospice programs in 2003. How did they select which hospice to use?
Many patients were referred to a particular hospice by their personal physicians. While a doctor’s order is required for admission to a hospice, patients and their families are free to choose any hospice which meets their needs.
To begin the selection process, hospice professionals suggest that families seek recommendations from friends or relatives who’ve recently had loved ones in hospice care. Suggestions may also come from health professionals, clergy, social workers or senior centers.
Professionals recommend that patients and families ask hospices questions, such as:
1. How does the hospice staff honor the patient’s wishes?
2. Are family caregivers trained to care for the patient at home?
3. What role does the patient’s physician have when hospice care begins?
4. What will happen if the patient can no longer stay at home, due to increased care needs?
5. What screening and training do hospice volunteers receive?
6. How does the hospice staff work to make sure the patient is comfortable?
7. Do they have staff to cover after-hour calls, for emergencies, or concerns?
8. Will that after-hour staff make visits to you?
9. What measures does the hospice use to assure quality?
10. Are the hospice program certified or licensed and a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization?
11. What costs are covered by insurance and what costs can the family expect?
12. How the medications and supplies come to the family?
13. Is the hospice locally run and operated to better understand your needs in your community?
14. Will the hospice come and meet with you before starting care?
15. Will the hospice send out individuals to meet with you in person?
16. Do you feel comfortable with the individuals you meet from the hospice?
Hospice is a philosophy of care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. A team of professionals and trained volunteers offer care and comfort to patients and their families when a cure is no longer the focus.
Hospice services are available at home or in a facility such as a nursing home or assisted living center.
Legacy HealthCare would be honored to assist you and your family with your needs at this time in your lives. We are happy to send a representative to you to answer the questions listed above and any additional questions you may have regarding hospice care. We will even mail you information if it is more convenient for you. Legacy HealthCare does carry the government brochure from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) related to hospice care.
Please call us Toll Free any time. 1-888-771-9099