Choosing a Quality Hospice

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If you or your loved one has an advanced illness and could benefit from hospice care, it is important to choose a hospice provider who can best meet your needs. Similar to choosing a physician, hospital, or long-term care facility, you will want to be knowledgeable and thoughtful in selecting the appropriate organization to provide this crucial service for you and your loved ones.

All hospice providers are required, by Medicare, to provide a basic level of hospice care. However there may be significant variations between hospice providers in the additional, or supplemental, services provided and the skill and experience level of the staff providing those services. Below is a list of questions you should consider when looking for a hospice provider.

  • Is the hospice certified by Medicare?
  • How many years has the provider been providing hospice care?
  • Is there a full-time Medical Director?  What are his/her qualifications?
  • To what extent is the staff certified in hospice and palliative care?
  • How is in-patient hospice care provided for, if needed?
  • What services are available to support family members and caregivers?
  • How does the provider monitor and improve its quality of care?
  • What services are available for those with specialized needs (i.e. those with advanced dementia, veterans with unique needs, Spanish speaking patients and families, for children?)