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Our last post covered the who, what, when and where of hospice care. Today, we’re focusing on the how. How do you decide which hospice setting and providers meet your needs?
Talking to your doctor is always a good first step. If you’re in the hospital, the discharge planner or social worker can make recommendations. Or, you or a family member or friend can make inquiries and request services.
Once you have narrowed down your list of providers, set up a time to talk. You should expect any potential hospice provider to meet with the patient and/or family members to discuss services and answer questions. Usually, there is no charge for this appointment and no obligation to choose the provider.
The website palliativedoctors.org recommends asking these questions to see if the hospice service is a fit for you and your family:
The list above is by no means complete, and you may have other questions that are important to you. These links can give you additional ideas:
Rest assured, most hospice providers are covered by health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, but do verify that the services you need will be covered. And, although it’s good to prepare in advance, hospice care can usually begin within a day or two of referral.