This checklist is designed as an at-a-glance summary of topics from our guide on how to choose a hospice and can be used in discussion with hospice staff or others.
- Is the hospice Medicare-certified?
- Is the hospice accredited by a recognized national organization?
- Are the clinical staff certified or accredited in hospice and/or palliative care?
- Is the hospice prepared to take on a complex case?
- How strong is the hospice’s volunteer program and what does it include?
- What information is available about other families’ experiences, satisfaction with the hospice?
Patient-Centered Care and Family Support
- How is the hospice governed – non-profit, for-profit, faith-based, part of a larger system?
- What type of support is available to family and caregivers?
- What bereavement support is offered?
- How much of every dollar received by the hospice is spent on patient care and support?
- Does the hospice provide care for those who lack coverage or the financial means to pay for care? How much do they spend annually on charity care?
Access and Availability
- How long does it typically take to enroll in the hospice and begin care following a referral/request for services? Is it the same for evenings and weekends?
- How does the hospice handle a medical crisis that occurs on a weekend or evening? Will hospice staff come to the home any time day or night including weekends if there is a medical crisis?
Specialized Services and Support
- Does the hospice offer any specialized programs and services, for example, palliative and hospice care for children, or a dedicated program for veterans?