Skip to content

Health & Balance

Font Size

Hospice Care - Arranging for Hospice Care

If you decide that you want hospice care, you'll need to complete documents to determine your eligibility and insurance coverage and to outline your treatment preferences. These documents include:

  • Health care agent or medical power of attorney. For more information, see the topic Choosing a Health Care Agent.
  • Living will. For more information, see the topic Writing an Advance Directive.
  • Insurance forms. Hospice services are covered by Medicare, by Medicaid in most states, and by many private insurance plans. Check with your employer or your health insurance plan for information about what services your plan covers. Many hospices will also help people who cannot pay.
  • Other legal documents related to finances, property, and other matters.

Choosing a hospice program

Your doctor or a member of your health care team may refer you to a hospice program. If not, you may want to ask your doctor to do so.

Or you may choose a hospice program yourself. Start by calling some of the programs in your area. People and organizations that can help you find hospice programs include:

  • Your doctor or hospital.
  • The medical social worker at your hospital or nursing home.
  • Your state or local agency on aging.
  • Your state health department.
  • Your insurance provider.
  • The phone book. (Look in the yellow pages under "home care" or "hospice.")
  • Your state hospice organization.
  • National organizations such as the National Association for Home Care, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Hospice Association of America. For contact information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.

A checklist(What is a PDF document?) can be helpful when you are choosing a hospice program. This checklist has questions you can ask to compare the hospice programs in your area.

All hospice programs should provide written materials that describe their services, including who provides the services, who is eligible, costs and payment processes, and the program's insurance and liability information. Ask for this information, and read it carefully.

Staying organized

After you have begun the hospice program, you will want to get all billing arrangements in writing, including costs and payment arrangements. Be sure to keep a copy.

Be sure that your family knows:

  • What services you are to receive from the program.
  • What the schedule is.
  • The names and phone numbers of important contact people at the hospice. Post this information near your telephone.

It's also important to make sure that your family will get the support they need after you die. Choose one person to be responsible for notifying family and friends about support group meetings, bereavement counseling opportunities, and other services that the hospice program may provide.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
     
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
     
    jet plane landing at sunset
    Slideshow
    poinsettias
    Quiz
     
    Hungover man
    Slideshow
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Slideshow
     
    Woman worn out on couch
    Article
    Happy and sad faces
    Quiz
     
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    Article
    laughing family
    Quiz