Finding the hospice program that meets your needs may take some research, but it will be time well spent. Quality of care, availability of needed services, personnel training and expertise, and coverage provided by the payer all need to be considered. Fortunately, most communities have a variety of hospice providers to choose from. Here are several ways to start your search:
Local resources: Your physician or hospital discharge planner can help you locate hospices in your area. Hospice care providers also are listed in the yellow pages of the phone directory. Your community may have information and referral services available through your American Cancer Society, an Agency on Aging, United Way chapter, Visiting Nurse Association, or your place of worship.
State level: You may contact your state’s departments of health or social services to obtain a list of licensed agencies or contact the state hospice organization. The state health department oversees certification of hospice services. Certification makes them eligible for Medicare and, in some states, Medicaid payments. Check the blue pages of your phone book for phone numbers in your area.
You can find nearby hospices in the yellow pages or by going to Google Maps, http://maps.google.com and enter "'Your city' 'Your state' hospice" without the quotation marks in the upper left-hand corner of the page. Click on "Search Maps" and you will see the locations of community hospices. Some of the facilities listed may be home health care or other services but all of the area hospices will be somewhere in the list with contact numbers.