Choosing a hospice is a very important decision. While all hospice programs may have the same basic philosophy of care, each is different in some ways. Hospice programs are very willing to answer questions and assist in determining which hospice can best meet the needs of a particular patient and family.
95% of hospice care is given in the home. The home is defined by where the patient lives, not necessarily their permanent residence. This can include a residential home, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, etc. The remaining percentage of hospice care is provided to patients in inpatient units and/or hospitals. Everyone in Florida can be served by hospice. When searching for a Hospice Program, it is not important that the hospice office be located near the patient’s home, because the professional care givers travel to the patient’s place of residence to provide routine care. However, you do want to choose a hospice program that serves your county.
Steps to help you chose the right hospice for you:
Find a hospice in your area. Visit our Find-a-Hospice directory to locate a hospice near you.
Families who had a loved one receive hospice are encouraged to fill out a quality care survey titled, “Family Evaluation of Hospice Care”. View Florida Hospice Provider’s scores, by visiting www.floridahealthfinder.org.
Ask in depth questions, such as:
- What services does the hospice program provide?
- Will the program cover the cost of the patient’s medications (provide a list of the patient’s medications)?
- How many times per week will a nurse and other hospice staff visit?
- Are home health aides readily available from the hospice?
- How many hours of home health aide support can be expected each week?
- Who is the hospice physician and will he/she work with the patient’s physician to provide care?
- What facilities does the hospice use for inpatient care?
- What facilities does the hospice use for respite care?
- Will volunteers be assigned?
- How many hours of support from volunteers can be expected each week?
- If palliative treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, or blood transfusions are needed for symptom control, does the hospice provide this therapy?
- If the patient or family is unhappy with any aspect of the program, what will be done to address the problem?
- If this hospice program is chosen, how soon can services be started?
- What support does this hospice provide to the family after the patient dies?
- What does the hospice admission process include?
- How does the hospice manage pain?
- How are families involved in the patient’s care?
- Who handles the paperwork for the insurance billing?
You can print this list of questions HERE.