Patients can be cared for in their own home or assisted living facility. Patients can also receive care in a hospital, nursing home, veterans’ facility or hospice center with high-tech equipment. Idaho Falls Hospice Care employs a team that includes nurses, social workers, doctors, and nurses who are trained to meet the needs of patients. This team includes physicians and focuses on comforting patients and providing the best care possible. Hospice services include spiritual and emotional care, as well as support for loved ones. This care is provided by a team made up of chaplains, bereavement professionals and volunteers.
All services are offered without discrimination based on race, religion, sickness, age, or disability. Discrimination against people who aren’t fluent in English, members of the LGBT community or have intellectual or developmental disabilities is prohibited. Medicare, Medicaid, certain HMOs and most private insurances cover all payments. Many hospices are members of Medicare. All hospices that participate with Medicare must provide the same essential services. The additional assistance provided by agencies can make them different.
Your primary care physician, a hospice doctor, nurses, home health aids and a social worker make up the medical team. Your loved one may be treated by speech, occupational, or physical therapists if necessary. It is especially comforting to have clergy around. Additional services are provided by trained volunteers.
The hospice team will create a care plan that targets symptom management. The hospice team will provide medication, supplies, equipment and therapy to address pain and other physical needs. Staff will give their best to provide emotional, social, or spiritual support to both the patient and their loved ones. Family members are also trained by them on how to best provide care.
This article provides detailed information about how to evaluate hospice providers. Here’s a brief summary.
Evaluate agency qualifications.
The hospice you choose must have Medicare certification in order to provide Medicare coverage for your loved one. Ask if the hospice’s staff are certified in hospice care. This certification indicates that the individual has received specialized training and education, which is geared towards meeting the needs of patients who are terminally ill.
Accreditation means that the agency can deliver high-quality care. Accreditation means that the hospice has met strict standards set by the governing organization. A facility must apply to become accredited by paying a fee. It then receives visits on-site to verify compliance with established medical policies and procedures.
Ask about the patient services offered.
While all Medicare-certified agencies have to provide essential services, many more go above and beyond that. It is important to know all amenities available so that you can make an informed decision. Some agencies start the admission process quickly, while others take longer. Some hospices offer programs that are tailored for children or patients with certain diseases such as cancer. These policies should be reviewed:
Freestanding Facilities – Some programs offer temporary housing, such as hospice homes, so that patients can live in a homelike environment. This arrangement is not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Unless you have coverage through another insurance, you will need to pay out of your own pocket if you choose a hospice house.
Response times – While you can reach a staff member 24 hours a day, some home care services may only be available at specific times. Ask about support available during emergencies and on weekends. How quickly will staff arrive at the home? Can the agency send a nurse, doctor, social worker, or clergy to visit the home? The hospice may vary in terms of the response time and staff they send.
Pre-Existing Treatments: Make sure that a hospice will not stop your loved one from receiving the treatment they are currently receiving. Medicare doesn’t require certain services to ease suffering. Not all hospices can reduce the size of tumors with radiation or chemotherapy.
Inpatient Care – Make sure you have this option. Inpatient Care – Some hospices offer temporary respite care for caregivers. If home care becomes difficult, some agencies will move a patient to a hospital. Many agencies do not have inpatient facilities and instead lease beds at a hospital or nursing facility. Inpatient care may be offered. Make sure to visit the facility to confirm that it is safe and clean. Ask the hospice if they have a contract with a particular hospital or nursing home if you prefer that one.
Continuous Care – Will the agency send a staff member who will remain at the bedside until the patient passes? Your family will also be supported. Some hospices are not able to provide 24/7 care.
Ask about family support.
Respite Care – This service allows a caregiver to take a break. It is included in hospice programs. Find out when, how long and by whom it is given. A agency may provide a nurse, nurse’s aid, or volunteer. You should ensure that the arrangement is right for you.
Volunteer Services – Learn what volunteer tasks you can do. As well as companionship, volunteers can also help with personal hygiene, meal preparation, running of errands and other household chores. Ask how fast volunteers are available.
Bereavement services – Ask about the grief support offered to survivors. There are many hospices that offer support services, including individual counseling, writing materials, outreach letters and support groups.
To ensure that all your needs are met, interview more than one hospice. Write down all questions you have in advance. Before you present them, assess the staff member’s response and attitude. Are they genuine concern or businesslike? You can always refer back to the conversations you had later. These are some questions you might want to ask.
You should ensure that you are not charged for the first meeting with the program representative. There should be no obligation for you to select a particular agency.
If a hospice provides inpatient care, you should take notes while touring the facility. Documentation can be helpful in making comparisons and helping you make informed decisions.
Find out more.
Ask family, friends, or acquaintances if they have any experience with hospice. You might be able to find a reliable agency through them. Your healthcare provider may recommend one. The discharge planner can help you find agencies and share their experience.
Ask a hospice representative if they have any quality control data. To get feedback on program performance, most programs offer satisfaction surveys. You should get the most recent scores from these questionnaires from a rep.