The federal government has recently unveiled a new online tool to help patients and their loved ones determine which hospice provider will best meet their needs when the time comes to make choices regarding hospice care.
The Hospice Compare tool reports information on hospices across the nation and allows patients, family members and health care providers to get an idea as to the quality of care a hospice provides. Using the tool you are then able to compare hospices based on important information such as quality, percentage of patients checked for pain or who are asked about their preferences for life sustaining treatments.
Patients and their families can search Hospice Compare by the name of the services they are considering, or by using their zip code to see what services are offered nearby. Most hospice care is delivered in a patient's home, assisted care facility or nursing home, but Medicare also covers care in an inpatient hospice facility.
The Hospice Compare site also offers an informative video in their Spotlight section under Hospice Care Basics, as well as a helpful checklist you can use to ensure that you are getting all of your care needs met.
Hospice offers care and support to individuals who are suffering from a terminal illness who have a prognosis of six months or less. They focus on palliative care for symptom management and pain relief. They also provide grief and loss counseling to family and caregivers.
The data used on Hospice Compare is based on information that has been submitted by approximately 3,876 hospices. CMS also has similar tools that compare physicians, hospitals, inpatient rehab facilities, nursing homes, dialysis treatment facilities and home health care.
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