Hospice Compare Site Helps Consumers Choose End-of-Life Care

June 26, 2018


Many difficult decisions surround end-of-life care of a loved one. Aiding in those choices are often hospice experts, but how to choose the right hospice can be troubling. To aid in that process, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided an online reporting system, Hospice Compare, that has been available to the public for use since last year.

Hospice of Evangelical, a program of Evangelical Community Hospital, scores higher than the national average according to the Hospice Compare site and consistently has consistently high ranks in all categories.

Hospice of Evangelical is one of more than 4,000 organizations offering hospice care that are reviewed on the site. The information reported allows patients, family members, and healthcare providers a snapshot of the quality of care each hospice provides. Hospices can be compared based on important indicators of quality, like the percentage of patients who are checked and treated for pain, or who are asked about their preferences for life-sustaining treatment.

This new tool in shopping for hospice care includes helpful resources as well and a list of questions to ask prospective hospice providers. Data has been collected by Hospice Compare for two years to make this report possible. Utilizing nursing assessments and family evaluations surveys, the site gives scores for various components of family experience of care, quality of patient care, managing pain, and treating symptoms. The site is updated quarterly to include the latest rankings.

“Evangelical Community Hospital has made a commitment to exceptional hospice care,” said Kay Holdren, Director of Hospice of Evangelical, who attributes the positive scores to a good support system.

“Our numbers reflect the dedication of our staff, the value they place on quality and delivery of care, and their focus on people. It’s not just a job to them, but an honor to help families in the final days to bring dignity and compassion to everyone involved.”

Hospice of Evangelical has been providing end-of-life care since 1989. Starting as an outgrowth of Evangelical Home Health, the evolution of the program started from the British model of care which emphasized meeting the physical, social, and emotional needs of patients and families.

That model continues today with experienced registered nurses trained in and solely dedicated to hospice care delivering bedside assistance in the place that is most comfortable for the patient. This could be at home, in a nursing facility, or at the Hospital. Hospice nurses are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to visit or discuss concerns, whether about pain medication, emotional needs, or connections to spiritual resources within the community.

To compare hospice services, visit https://www.medicare.gov/hospicecompare/.

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