Choosing a Quality Hospice

Is the Hospice Medicare Certified?  

Hospice & Community Care is certified by the Department of Health and the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services.

Has the hospice program been surveyed by a state or federal oversight agency in the last five years?  

Hospice & Community Care is surveyed every three years with highly successful results.

Is the organization a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and does it comply with all aspects of NHPCO’s Standards for Hospice Programs?

Hospice & Community Care is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and complies with all standards. The organization’s Chief Medical Officer is currently a member of the NHPCO Board of Directors and its Vice President, Patient Care serves on its Quality & Standards Committee.

Is the hospice accredited by a national organization?

Hospice & Community Care is accredited by the Joint Commission which accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Does the hospice conduct a family evaluation survey?

Hospice & Community Care requests each family whose loved one received hospice care to complete a survey, and the responses are recorded and evaluated.

Does the hospice own or operate a care facility to provide home-like care in a hospice residence, hospital or nursing home?

Hospice & Community Care opened Pennsylvania’s first freestanding inpatient hospice center in Lancaster County in 1996. The organization currently operates the Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center, a 24-bed facility located near Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, which opened in 2008 and is available to hospice patients who may need short-term 24-hour care.

Are the organization’s clinical staff (physicians, nurses, social workers) certified or credentialed in hospice and palliative care?

Many clinical staff, including physicians, are specially trained and Board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine. Certification and credentialing is encouraged for all RNs, LPNs, aides, social workers, counselors, and chaplains with a high percentage of Hospice & Community Care clinical staff meeting this standard.

What services do volunteers offer, and if requested, how quickly will a volunteer be available?

Hospice & Community Care volunteers provide a myriad of services for patients and families, and hospice staff, including companionship with patients, respite for caregivers so they can get out to shop or attend an appointment, and help with light household chores. Specially-trained pet therapy volunteers may also visit patients and families. Volunteers are available immediately in a crisis situation but are regularly assigned to patients within three to five days.

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

Hospice & Community Care clinical staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to visit patients and are only a phone call away.

What ‘extra’ services does the hospice offer?

Hospice & Community Care has many specialized services which are part of the care and support that we provide to all of our patients and families under our care, and are not considered extra. Hospice & Community Care’s specialized services and resources, which may not be available from other hospices, include full-time palliative medicine physicians, inpatient care, nurse practitioners specially trained in dementia and wound care, massage and music therapy, specialized care for children and Veterans, and a center for bereavement support.

How long has the hospice been operating in the community?

Hospice & Community Care was established as Hospice of Lancaster County in 1980. In 2012 the organization changed its name to Hospice & Community Care to reflect its expanded service area into York, Lebanon, and other counties, and its wide array of services and support available to the community.

How quickly can the intake/admissions staff come to begin the admissions process? Is someone available at night or on weekends?

Hospice & Community Care has staff available after hours and on weekends to answer questions, and to begin and complete the admissions process to insure care for patients as needed.

What is the organization’s governance structure?

Hospice & Community Care is a nonprofit organization and as such is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The organization’s President and CEO, Steve Knaub, leads the organization’s senior leadership team.

Is the hospice a We Honor Veterans Partner?

Hospice & Community Care is a We Honor Veterans Partner, and has achieved Level Four status, the highest level attainable. The organization has demonstrated its commitment to improving the care provided to Veterans and their family members and has an active Veteran-to- Veteran Volunteer program.