If your loved one has been referred to hospice care by a physician or case worker, you may have been given a list of hospice agencies to choose from. Sometimes, these referral sources have a specific agency they recommend based on how they care for patients. But like in all things related to healthcare, it’s essential to be informed of your options. You may find that another agency works better for your loved one’s needs.
While all hospice agencies work within the guidelines established by Medicare, there are differences in location, associated pharmacies, levels of care, and staff members. Below are three of our top tips for picking the best hospice provider in New Jersey.
1. Inquire about the services offered, including family support.
Since most hospices participate in Medicare, they provide the same basic services based on Medicare regulations. These rules specify the minimum requirements for what a hospice must provide to patients. However, there may still be differences among providers, so it’s important to fully understand what services will be offered.
For example, some hospices have programs tailored to children and patients with specific diseases. Others have specific religious affiliations, such as the Ruth Hyman Hospice Program which observes Jewish laws, traditions, and values. And others provide alternative treatments like pet therapy and Reiki.
2. Assess agency qualifications and accreditation.
Accreditation is not required, and not having it doesn’t mean a hospice is substandard. That being said, accreditation means that a third party has determined that the hospice meets or exceeds a high standard of care. Therefore, many patients feel most comfortable choosing an accredited hospice.
VNA Health Group offers a hospice program that meets the industry’s highest standards. We are certified by Medicare and Medicaid, accredited by CHAP, and licensed by the state of New Jersey. You can trust that your loved one is in the best hands possible. Our teams also collaborate with our Connected Health Institute and Advanced Care Institute.
3. Consider the location and availability of the on-call nurses.
Hospice can take place in a home, nursing home, or hospital. Very few hospice programs have inpatient facilities, which means they’re independent. So, it’s not the location of the hospice program to consider but the location of the on-call nurses. Some agencies have nurses that cover hundreds of miles of territory!
Ideally, you want a team of nurses that lives locally and can get to your loved one quickly. The last thing you want is to wait hours to receive help for your loved one. VNA Health Group’s hospice team consists of chaplains, social workers, doctors, nurses, and home health care nurses, comfort callers, and volunteers.
Picking the best hospice provider is important, as this will influence your loved one’s end-of-life experience, as well as your family’s grieving process. To learn more about the hospice program through VNA Health Group, contact us today.