The Basics: There are many lists of hospices online and good overall advice on how to find a hospice service. The advice always includes checking on Medicare-certification and state licensing, and typically suggests obtaining references from care professionals. Medicare.gov/hospice compare and NHPCO.org and hospicefoundation.org are good sources.
The Checklist: Use this Checklist to explore important additional topics with any potential hospice. In the Checklist we refer to the patient as “Mom” for convenience. We created the Checklist based on our work with many hospices.
In three plain-language pages, the Checklist helps you explore nitty gritty questions most people wouldn’t think to ask in advance.
Topics covered in the Nitty Gritty Checklist include,
- How soon will a nurse make the first visit to my Mom?
- How many times a week will a nurse visit my Mom?
- Will my Mom’s regular doctor be involved?
- How quickly will a nurse get to my Mom when called?
- When I call in the middle of the night on Saturday, will I talk with a nurse?
- Will that nurse have access to my Mom’s medical record?
- Which of my Mom’s medications (prescription and non-prescription) will you pay for?
- . . . more . . .