Caring for an ill loved one is one of life’s difficult tasks. There are so many decisions to make; it can seem impossible to know what’s best. One day he or she shows signs of improvement, and the next they are worse. Should you listen to their requests to go home or follow the doctor’s advice?
Making the best decisions comes down to having as much information as possible. Here are some good questions to ask hospitals or hospice in order to better understand your loved one’s condition and the treatment he or she will receive.
If you are deciding which hospital to place your loved one in, here are some things to consider: Does the hospital offer that procedure or service your loved one needs? Does the hospital accept my health insurance plan? Will I have out-of-pocket costs for the hospital stay? Does the hospital have a discount policy for patients without insurance? Does the hospital participate in the various publicly available quality measures?
If deciding on a hospice program, ask if a nationally recognized group, such as the Joint Commission, accredits the hospice agency. Find out if Medicare certifies the program. If your state requires it, make sure the program is licensed. Ask for references and find out how long they have served the community. Do as much research as you can to make sure your loved one receives quality care.
Get a copy of the written statements outlining services, eligibility rules, costs and payment procedures, employee job descriptions and malpractice, and liability insurance. Make sure all financial arrangements: costs, payment procedures, and billing are in writing.
Finally, ask if a nurse or caregiver will talk to you about and evaluate the types of services needed. Find out what the care plan is and if it will be updated as needs change.
If you need additional assistance, information, or lists of hospitals or hospices, call our funeral home. We are here to help you.