Hospice care provides palliative care to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for people who are expected to live for about six months or less. Like palliative care, hospice care can be provided whether you are at home or in an assisted living facility, nursing facility or hospital.
Choosing a Hospice Care Provider
Finding the right provider does not have to be difficult. Ask your medical team for specific recommendations or use the directories in the resources section below to find providers in your area. The local hospice workers will meet with the patient’s doctor, patient and family to discuss available services and expectations and to develop a plan of care designed specifically for your loved one and tailored to the family needs.
You may want to ask questions about insurance plans and payment requirements.
- Ask what expectations the hospice will have from the patient and the patient’s support system.
- Ask what kind of support and training program the hospice has for caregivers.
- Ask about bereavement support programs.
Hospice care is a covered benefit under Medicare for patients with a prognosis of six months or less. Medicaid covers hospice services in most states. Many private health insurance policies and HMOs offer hospice coverage and benefits. Hospice services are also covered under TRICARE, the Department of Defense’s health care program for members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors. Frequently, hospice expenses are less than conventional care expenses during the last six months of life.
- End of Life Issues: Hospice Care – articles from the National Caregivers Library to help you understand hospice care and find the right service for your loved one.
- Hospice Organizations – descriptions, contact information and links to organizations that advocate hospice care. Organized by the Hospice Foundation of America.
- Locate Hospice Providers in the US and Canada – an online search tool to find hospice providers near you. Organized by the Hospice Foundation of America.
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization– a charitable organization advocating for the needs of people facing life-limiting illness.
- American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine – a professional organization for healthcare providers dedicated to expanding access of patients and families to high quality palliative care and advancing the discipline of Hospice and Palliative Medicine through professional education, support, research and public policy.
- Next Step in Care – Information and advice to help family caregivers and health care providers plan safe and smooth transitions for patients with careful planning, clear communication and ongoing coordination.
Published on UCSF Memory and Aging Center (http://memory.ucsf.edu)
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