Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy

Letter from the President of HPA

Dear friends and visitors to our web site,

I wanted to let you know how much we care about your situation and that we are here to help you get the care you need for your loved one. We have been very successful in helping those who have contacted us. Often, many of you have requested information on what your rights are given the specific circumstances you find yourselves in. Others, have requested advice on how to resolve their problems, and we have provided detailed answers to your questions...that's what we do!

We are heartened when you have written back to tell us that it worked out well and your loved one got the care they needed. However, in some cases, the families unfortunately did not have the information they needed in time to resolve their problems with the hospice. Some of you have written to us after having a "bad experience" with a hospice to tell us, "if only we had known then what you provide here on the web site." That is why it is so important that all hospice patients and their families get the information they need about hospice. Please let others know about our web site and share what you have learned.

Not all hospices are "incorrigible." Many hospices are staffed and managed by people of great integrity and experience. Simply communicating clearly and effectively with the hospice case manager and/or director may resolve the problems you are encountering. Communicating with the hospice while being fully informed about hospice care and regulations will help your loved one even more. Because, knowledge is power. When you are knowledgeable about the standards of care and services your loved one is entitled to, you will know better what to say and how to get the care that is needed!

Speaking with the case manager for your loved one is the first step. Speaking with your loved one's attending physician may be the next step. Speaking with the hospice director and medical director is the next step. If no prompt results are obtained which fully correct the situation, then you will need to evaluate your situation. If your loved one is not close to the very end stage of dying, then a switch to another hospice may be considered, and you may even switch physicians as well if that is part of the problem. You always have the right to choose whichever hospice you wish and to choose the physician who will be best for your loved one's needs.

Serving in hospice is a real "calling" and a special niche within the health care industry. We hope that your experience with hospice is positive and full of really compassionate care and kindness. We are here to help your loved one receive hospice care which lets him or her die with dignity.

Best wishes!


Ron Panzer
for Hospice Patients Alliance

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