Looking for hospice services can add undue stress to a very emotionally draining time in your life. If you know the right questions to ask hospice providers, you’ll be able to find a provider that’s able to meet your family’s needs. When you’re interviewing providers, consider these hospice questions to ask. 

What Types of Certifications and Licenses Does the Hospice Have? 

It’s important to know what forms of certification your hospice service has so you can be sure your loved one is questions to ask hospireceiving adequate care. This is also essential if you’d like to be able to bill your insurance or Medicare for the cost of treatment. For example, Medicare only provides benefits if you use a provider that is Medicare certified. 

State licenses and accreditations are evidence that the service provider has been reviewed by third-party entities and met certain requirements. You can have more confidence when you’re considering hospice services that are accredited by JCAHO, ACHC, or CHAP. Also, remember to verify that the service is licensed by the state it operates in.

What Do the Reviews Say? 

When looking for reviews and references, try to find people you trust to provide feedback about the hospice provider you’re considering. The best sources are physicians, nurses, hospitals and geriatric care managers. These people can give you enough information about the hospice services you’re looking at to help you confine your list to the most highly recommended.  

How Long Has the Hospice Provider Been Around? 

One of the questions to ask during a hospice interview is how long the hospice provider has been serving hospice patients. The more established the provider is, the surer you can be that the hospice staff is well trained and experienced. Hospice volunteers and staff who work with organizations that have been around for a long time have probably received their training from others who have a wealth of knowledge to share. 

What Is Your Family’s Role in Hospice Care? 

Family caregivers are an important part of a loved one’s care during their last days. Understanding what parts of your loved one’s care you’ll need to participate in is important so that you can provide effective assistance and know what to expect. As the hospice patient requires more attentive care, respite care can provide your family with some relief when caring for your loved one becomes stressful and emotionally draining. 

Are There Services You Need That the Provider Doesn’t Offer? 

Some hospice patients can get all the care they need through hospice, while others require medical treatments that hospice care is unable to provide. Make sure the hospice care service you select can meet all your loved one’s needs by asking if those services are included. 

Do Hospice Services Include Inpatient Care? 

You may require care for your loved one that can only be provided through a hospital or nursing home. Some hospice questions to ask include what the procedure is when your loved one needs to be transferred from home care to an inpatient setting. Some providers continue to provide services at a nursing home or hospital. 

Ask what the inpatient facilities are like and where they’re located. This ensures that you know how close to home your loved one is if they need to be transferred to a nursing facility for some time. It’s also good to know if the provider has its own hospice facilities and hospice physician.  

What Types of Respite Care are Available? 

A hospice patient’s family members are often overwhelmed when they find out all that’s needed to care for a loved one who’s suffering from a life-limiting condition. Respite care is meant to give family members a break for a short period so they can recuperate and tend to their own needs. One of the questions to ask hospice providers is how long you can receive respite care and how it’s managed. 

What Is Hospice Care Like During an Emergency? 

You need to know how quickly you can get in touch with a hospice team member when you require urgent care. Since this could happen at any time, it’s important that the hospice care provider you select has staff able to respond and arrive when you need them. It also gives you an expectation of when the hospice staff member will arrive once you’ve called and asked for help. 

How Does the Provider Handle Family Concerns? 

Knowing how to reach out when you’re concerned about something is important, because you’re going to have plenty of questions and needs arise over the course of your loved one’s hospice care. Look for a provider that provides clear expectations and outlines how you can report concerns and who to speak with if you feel your concerns haven’t been addressed. 

What Bereavement Services Are Available? 

Hospice care isn’t merely for the person suffering from a life-limiting illness but also to help the family with their emotional suffering. One of the important questions to ask during a hospice interview is what types of counseling services and support are available to assist you through the process of caring for your loved one and to help you once they’ve passed. 

What Extra Services Are Provided? 

Medicare expects certified hospice care providers to offer certain services, but you may find a provider that offers additional services other providers aren’t able to. One example is in-home cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. These additional services may help make your loved one more comfortable and ease their pain. 

Can the Hospice Provider Meet Your Specific Needs? 

If you’ve got very specific or unique needs, one of the hospice questions to ask is whether the provider can address those concerns. Bring up all the details of your situation and be certain the provider is able to accommodate you.  

What Payment Is Accepted? 

You might be able to pay for hospice care with Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. Make sure your preferred payment method is accepted by the provider you select. If you have any questions about the hospice services we provide, please contact us today.