When you have decided to
hospice care, you will need to complete documents to determine your
eligibility and insurance coverage and to outline your treatment preferences.
These documents include:
forms. Hospice services are covered by Medicare, by Medicaid in most states,
and by many private insurance plans. If you plan to receive
Medicare hospice benefits, you and your doctor will
need to complete forms. 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 by applying for money from other sources.
Legal documents related to finances, property, and other
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. If you are arranging for hospice care, look for the kinds of hospice services you want.
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.
You may need to identify hospice programs in your area. People
and organizations that can help you find hospice programs in your area include:
Your doctor or hospital.
medical social worker at your hospital or nursing home.
or local agency on aging.
State health department.
The phone book. (Look in the yellow pages under
"home care" or "hospice.")
Your state hospice
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.
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.
Choose a hospice program. Start by calling some of the programs
in your area. Choose the program that best fits your needs by asking questions
based on your
checklist(What is a PDF document?).
After you have begun the hospice program, you will want
Get all billing arrangements in writing,
including costs and payment arrangements. Be sure to keep a copy.
that your family knows what services you are to receive from the program and
what the schedule is.
Be sure that everyone in your family knows the names
and phone numbers of important contact people at the hospice. Post this
information near your telephone.
Ensure that your family will get the support they need after you
die. Choose one person who will be responsible for notifying family and friends
about support group meetings, bereavement counseling opportunities, and other
services that the hospice program may provide after a loved one dies.