How long would it take to apply and be accepted into hospice care?

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It can happen pretty quickly. The hospital recommended hospice when they released my mom back to her NH. I think I had a consultation, signed papers, and had it started all on the same day.

For my husband, residing at home, I don't remember whether I got a same-day or next-day appointment for a consultation, but I signed the paperwork at 4 in the afternoon, and they had a hospital bed delivered by 7 that night!

I think in general if there is any doubt it is best to go ahead and get the evaluation/have the consultation. If they decide the person is not yet ready for hospice care, it will go that much quicker when it is time.
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Grammy, I think that our experience was the same as yours. The hospice organization that first saw mom when the doctor said that she was eligible kept her file updated so that when we called them, they were ready to go.

They were a blessing and a half. I only wish that I had been permitted to call them in earlier. I think that the extra attention they would have afforded mom would have given her a better quality of life. But hindsight is 20/20.
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You should be able to get qualified within 24 hours.

My mom's doctor recommended hospice long before we used it. I did call a couple hospice organizations. I chose one and they told me what services they could provide. At that time, we didn't feel like those were help we needed but I told them I want afraid to wait and then have a crisis and not be able to get her the care. They told me it was not a problem, they could have help to my home within 24 hours. 9 months later, when we needed them, they were quickly there.
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For my mom in a NH, the MD medical director of the N.h called me to discuss as she thought Hospice needed. I agreed and the Hospice group was out later that day to do their evaluation with paperwork emailed to me to fill out the next morning and then Hospice formally started the nex day with new bed, pressure mattress, etc brought it. So 3 days for my mom.

Also as Hospice is a Medicare benefit, it is “self directed” which means that in theory you can pick your provider. So if the Hospice group doesn’t seem to mesh well with your parent or your approach to being dpoa, you can switch vendors. I changed Hospice for my mom at about week 6. It was pretty seamless to be done & did it to coincide with moms every 90 day care plan meeting. So everybody on the same page for all things mom. My Mom ended up in Hospice for 18 l....o....n...g long months.

Btw Medicare paid Hospice around $ 4200 - $4300 each month & it was 3x a week Hospice aide with once or twice a mo Hospice RN, Chaplin & social worker. Moms NH viewed Hospice as extra hands to help and she was even more cared for once she went onto Hospice. Can’t speak highly enough of Hospice.
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Once the doctor says it's time fir hospice and you pick which hospice provider you wish to use, just a few hours. It also doesn't matter what day if the week or if it's a holiday.
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I asked for a Hospice evaluation for my mom earlier this year and the organization that the NH called sent a representative who arrived approximately 45 minutes later, so it CAN happen very fast. Also, the NH doctor had certified my mom as eligible for hospice 2 years earlier, so there was no question as to eligibility.
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In my mom's case, I got the prescription from the doctor (you need that) and the intake nurse from hospice was at mom's place the next day. I'm in Illinois, so it may be different in different locations around the country.

You might want to interview more than one hospice provider if there are several in your area. Also ask around for recommendations if anyone around you has used different providers. Not all hospice providers are created equal.
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