Hospice Freedom of Choice

An article in the Chicago Tribune last year listed several of the common misconceptions about hospice. Among them is the idea that a patient must opt for hospice care only from the hospice agency connected to (or recommended by) a doctor, hospital or nursing facility.

“While they [care providers] all may have contracts with hospice agencies and recommend their care, a patient is free to research and make their own choice,” the article states.

Why would a patient or patient’s family choose not to use a hospice recommended by the doctor? Often the doctor is an employee of a hospital group and may feel obliged to suggest his group’s own hospice (just as he might if you asked for a referral for, say, a dermatologist).

At Hope Hospice, we frequently receive calls from those who have had other family members in our care. Recommendations from friends and neighbors also lead many to call. We also get calls from people who find us on the internet and wish to compare levels of service. (By the way, we always welcome such comparisons.)

The president of the Illinois Hospice and Palliative Care Association, Rick Kasper, says in the Tribune article that families and patients should interview hospice representatives to make their choice. “It is very important,” he says. “You have people that sometimes just don’t connect.” In the article, he mentions that families should ask about additional services such as massage therapy.

If you or a loved one are currently considering hospice care or if hospice care is a possibility at some point in the near future, feel free to call us at Hope Hospice. We may be able to answer many of your questions by phone, and are always willing and available to meet with you in person. You may call our office at 314-984-9800.

Remember, you do have a choice when it comes to hospice care.


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