Questions to Consider when selecting Hospice/Home Care Providers

  1. The patient ‘s address is ____________. Does the hospice serve this area?
  2. How long has the hospice been in operation?
  3. Is the hospice certified by Medicare and licenced by the State? This is important because Medicare has minimum requirements for patient care and management and if the hospice is not certified by Medicare then Medicare won’t pay for the services?
  4. Does the Hospice accept Medicaid?
  5. What others types of insurance are accepted? Most health insurance plans will cover hospice care. Make sure the hospice will accept your Health insurance coverage.
  6. What is expected from the family caregiver?
  7. What , if any, out of pocket expenses will we have?
  8. Which hospice staff are available after hours?
  9. Do you have access to a pharmacy after hours?
  10. Will I have the same care provider over time? Continuity of care is important. You don’t want to have different people coming for each visit.
  11. Can the hospice provide references? You can also contact your church, your family doctor, or friends to see if they have used a particular hospice. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau.
  12. How flexible is the hospice in applying it’s policies to your situation? If the hospice has conditions that do not feel comfortable then you may want to look elsewhere.
  13. Does the hospice prepare a written plan of care? It is important for the plan of care to be in writing and developed in consultation with you and your family. The Plan should list specific duties, work hours for each day, the name and contact information for the person in charge. The Plan should also be updated as patient needs change.
  14. If you are on dialysis, total parental; nutrition, intravenous feedings, blood transfusions, or certain drugs find out if the hospice can provide these services.
  15. You should also find out how the hospice would manage care if the patient gets a treatable health problem such as pneumonia or the flu.
  16. What services will the hospice not provide?
  17. Who provides on call coverage after hours and on weekends? You want hospice staff to provide this coverage not an answering service.
  18. What home medical equipment can the hospice provide such as wheelchairs, hospital bed etc?
  19. Are the caregivers licensed?
  20. What kind of support care does the hospice provide to family who are looking after the patient?
  21. What is your response time if we have an emergency?
  22. Do you have homemakers available for light housekeeping and meal preparation?
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