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.

Experience

  • 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?