Can I choose my own hospice care provider?

A doctor may have suggested to you or a family member that it is time to turn to hospice for end-of-life care. Or you may simply wonder if it’s time to consider giving hospice a call. In either case, you want to ensure you receive the best care available, and the best quality of life, for as long as possible.

You have the right to choose whichever hospice provider you desire, regardless of who your physician is, what hospital or nursing home you may be in, or what insurance plan provides your health coverage. Once you make your decision, it is extremely important that you ask for that hospice provider by name.

When choosing a hospice program, consider the following:

  • How long has the hospice been providing care?
  • Is the hospice a community-based, nonprofit organization?
  • Is its staff specially trained/certified in hospice and palliative care?
  • How many specialized physicians and advanced practice nurses are on staff?
  • What are its staff-to-patient ratios?
  • What are its patient and family satisfaction ratings?
  • Does it provide inpatient hospice care in a specially designed environment?
  • Does it offer special therapies or enrichment activities?
  • Does it have ample, well-trained volunteers?
  • Does it provide a multi-faceted bereavement program for the entire family?
  • What is its policy for patients who are unable to pay for services?
  • Is it Joint Commission accredited?
  • What professional affiliations does the hospice have?

All hospices are not alike. Learn more about how they may differ before selecting the best program for you.