Call 828.245.0095 or 800.218.CARE (2273)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 336 Forest City, NC 28043

How to Choose a Quality Hospice


You can decide which hospice or palliative care agency to use for you and your loved ones.  In some areas, there are more than one organization serving your community.  Consider asking these questions before discussing your choice with your physician.

Is the Hospice Medicare Certified?

Most hospices are certified by Medicare and as the result, have to follow all the rules and regulations required for you to access the Hospice Medicare Benefit.

Is the hospice accredited by a national organization?

Hospices are not required to be accredited, but those that do submit to these standards reflect a commitment to the highest quality care.

Does the hospice provide a palliative care program?

Not all hospices provide a palliative care program with dedicated staff.   Hospices that provide palliative care in homes, facilities, hospitals and other settings typically enable you to establish a relationship with the organization prior to receiving hospice services.

Does the agency employ full time providers certified in hospice and palliative care that can visit in multiple settings?

Employing full time nurse practitioners and physicians who can visit in homes and facilities ensures continuity of care.

Does the hospice own and operate an inpatient facility?

A hospice inpatient facility may be needed should family caregivers not be able to care for the person in the home or if pain and other symptoms can’t be managed at home.

When does the hospice admit patients and how long does it take to receive care?

Quality hospices admit patients seven days a week, 365 days a year and make every effort to admit patients within 24 hours of referral.  A hospices ability to start service quickly might be important.

Will staff come to the home if there is a crisis at any time of the day or night and on weekends?

Hospice staff are available 24 hours a day by phone, but some hospices offer only limited in home support on nights and weekends.  Ask about specific after hours services, and determine how long it would take a staff person to typically call or come to the home when needed.  Other hospices also offer crisis care in homes when a crisis occurs to help patients remain at home.

How long has the hospice been operating in the communities it serves?

Length of time caring for patients may be important to you.

What extra services does the hospice offer?

All hospices must provide physical, emotional and spiritual care for patients and their families.  In addition to required hospice services, many offer specialized grief programs, individualized services for children, advance care planning services, and a variety of other programs.

What is the organization’s governance structure?

Whether or not the organization is a non-profit, for-profit, government or faith based part of a larger healthcare organization may be important to you.