How do I find hospice care?
Since most communities have more than one hospice provider, you and your family get to decide which agency you’ll use for hospice services. Finding the hospice program that best meets your needs may take some research, but it will be time well spent.
You and your family should do this early in your care while you have the strength and ability to take part in the decision. Quality of care, availability of needed services, the types of services covered, staff training and expertise, and insurance coverage all need to be considered. Here are some things to think about as you start your search:
Your doctor or hospital discharge planner can help you find hospices in your area. Hospice care providers also are listed in the phone book. Your community may have information and referral services available through your American Cancer Society, an Agency on Aging, a local United Way chapter, the Visiting Nurse Association, or your place of worship.
You may contact your state’s hospice organization or its department of health or social services to get a list of licensed agencies. The state health department oversees certification of hospice services. Certification makes them able to get funding from Medicare and, in some states, also from Medicaid. Check the blue pages of your phone book for other resources in your area or search online for your state hospice organization.
National organizations that deal with hospice care accreditation, treatment, and patient advocacy are listed in the “To learn more” section at the end of this document. Some of them also help you find hospice service near you.
Last Medical Review: 04/30/2013
Last Revised: 04/30/2013