How to Find Hospice Care Near Me
Location is one of the first things many families consider when trying to find a hospice. But while location can be important, it is only one of the factors to weigh. Hospice care services are provided wherever the patient is residing – often their home or an assisted living facility. So as long as a hospice provider covers their area, the office itself does not need to be in their specific neighborhood.
All hospice providers are required to meet minimum standards of care that are laid out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). This includes: nursing and aide services, medical equipment and supplies related to the patient’s terminal diagnosis, medication related to the patient’s terminal diagnosis, bereavement support, and short-term respite care. Medicare will not cover curable treatment or medication for a hospice patient, room and board, or outpatient hospital care unless it is arranged by the hospice team.
Many hospice providers choose to go above and beyond these basic requirements to provide specialized services, additional visits, and expanded hours. It’s important that families do their homework to ensure the hospice provider they choose is the right fit for them.
Questions to Ask When Trying to Find a Hospice
When trying to find the best hospice care for a loved one, families should make sure they understand exactly what services the hospice provider offers. Some key questions to ask include:
How often will staff visit?
Frequency of visits should be determined by the patient’s individual needs. While the minimum is set by Medicare as one visit by a registered nurse every two weeks, Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care believes these visits should be more frequent. Our nurses customize visits based on the patient’s needs and wishes, but typically visit twice a week. Between those visits, patients also have hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers available to them.
What are your business hours?
Many hospice providers maintain standard business hours and only provide care on weekends. At Crossroads, we pride ourselves on being available to patients and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We have a team of dedicated staff available at all times to do admissions, provide care, and answer questions at any time.
Do your visits increase in the final days?
As a patient reaches their final days and hours, it is a very emotional time for families. Some hospices increase care at this time which can be incredibly beneficial to patients and their families. At Crossroads, our service levels increase by 71% on average in a patients final days. When a patient is in their final hours, we switch to our Evenmore Care service model which allows us to keep a member of the patient’s care team at bedside until after they pass away to provide care to the patient and support to the family.
What unique services do you provide?
While all hospices provide the same basic services, many hospice providers have added in special programs to celebrate each patient’s life and experiences. When trying to find a hospice, ask providers what they do that is different from other providers.
At Crossroads, we provide several different quality of life programs for our patients including a Veteran Recognition program, Life Journals, and Vet-to-Vet volunteer initiatives. We also offer our Gift of a Day program which gives patients the opportunity for one perfect day doing something they love or have always wanted to try.
More Questions to Ask Potential Hospice Providers
Resources for Finding Hospice Care Near Me
When trying to find a hospice provider in your area, one excellent resource is the CMS Hospice Compare website. The goal of Hospice Compare is to give patients and families information on hospice providers in their area based on the results of the Hospice Comprehensive Assessment Measure.
This information is a good starting place before making your own calls and asking your own questions of local hospice providers. Families often develop special relationships with the hospice care team who will be providing compassionate care for your loved one in their home or assisted living facility. Ultimately, each family needs to find the hospice provider near them who will best meet their needs.
Crossroads provides hospice services in seven states across the United States. To see Crossroads hospice locations, visit our website or give us a call at 1-888-564-3405.
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