Terminal illness has several challenges associated with it: emotional stress, financial burden, and loss of income and treatment. Most of the time, hospice care is covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Other options may include commercial insurance, out-of-pocket payments, or the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Ten tips for choosing a hospice service
To select the right hospice service, consider the following points:
- Is the hospice program accredited or certified? This helps to determine the quality and standards of care.
- Do they have a medical director who specializes in palliative care? This makes care reliable, as the physicians are trained to provide hospice care under the latest guidelines.
- Do they have a pharmacist on their team to make sure that medications are managed properly? Having a dedicated pharmacist helps to maintain the high quality of medication management.
- How do they manage after-hours care? Some Hospice companies do not provide regular care after business hours. So it is better to pick a company that has the option of after-hours care available whenever it is needed.
- Do they offer a family support program? Many hospices provide respite care for family members and caregivers. Choosing a company that has a respite care option available to clients is always recommended.
- Do they offer spiritual care? Many hospices companies have Chaplin available for spiritual needs.
- Do they allow smooth transfer of service to another hospice company in case it is needed? Sometimes transfer of care is needed. Always find out if they facilitate the transfer of care in case it is needed.
- How will they cover the cost of hospice care? Discuss all options of payment to make sure that it does not cause an additional burden on the family.
- Do they have bereavement services available? It is very important for many families after a patient expires. This service can help families recover from the trauma of the loss of a family member.
- What services and supplies will be included? It is recommended that you discuss the details of services and supplies to make sure you get maximum benefit for your loved one.