Hospice and palliative care are essential services for anyone who is entering the last phase of their life. Many senior caregivers may rightly wonder which hospice and palliative care facilities, companies, and organizations are worth researching and what to consider when looking.
This article will review what makes hospice and palliative care good and list some of Alabama’s highly-rated senior care facilities.
What To Consider When Researching Hospice and Palliative Care Facilities
There are many things to consider when researching hospice and palliative care facilities. Thankfully, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has a hospice questionnaire people can cross-reference when considering hospice and palliative care options.
A few of the notable questions featured in the NHPCO’s questionnaire are:
- Is the facility for profit or not-for-profit?
- How many years has it operated?
- Is both palliative and hospice care available?
- Is there an inpatient unit as well as home care?
- Is it Medicare-certified?
To develop this list, I used the above comparison points to determine if the hospice and palliative care facilities were worth considering. In addition, I only researched places that received a rating between 4-5 stars on Google and checked to see if each provider also appeared on the NHPCO’s provider list. Note that these hospice and palliative care facilities are not rated in any particular order. As always, with lists such as this, I encourage you and your loved one to do unique online research and to ask a trusted doctor, and possibly a social worker, for their thoughts on hospice and palliative care facilities in your area, too. (Another useful decision-making tool is Medicare.gov’s provider comparison service).
Top Hospice And Palliative Care Facilities in Alabama
1. Alabama Hospice Care (LHC Group)
Alabama Hospice Care is available throughout the state and is part of the LHC Group. Alabama Hospice Care has a state license and is Medicare certified. To get a better idea of what Alabama Hospice Care is all about, I researched the care it provides by looking at one of the organization’s higher-rated locations out of Jasper, Alabama. The organization’s care specialties include:
- Cancer care
- End of life care
- Failure to thrive
- Life limiting illnesses
- Liver disease
- Palliative care
- Stroke or coma
LHC Group, Alabama Hospice Care’s “parent” organization, provides in-home healthcare throughout the United States, as well as home- and community-based services and facility-based care. LHC Group was founded in 1994. I could not determine if Alabama Hospice Care was for or not for profit or if it provides palliative care, too.
2. Comfort Care Hospice
Comfort Care serves three locations in Alabama. It’s state-licensed, and Medicare certified. Comfort Care Hospice touts its “supportive holistic care” and “individualized treatment plans.” People who received care from Comfort Care have access to a variety of support staff, including an attending physician, on-call supporters, volunteers, bereavement coordinators, and more. In addition to providing hospice care, Comfort Care also provides palliative care and works with a patient’s primary physician to ensure care consistency. I could not determine when Comfort Care Hospice was founded or if it was for or not for profit.
3. Lakeside Hospice, Inc.
Lakeside Hospice, Inc. has multiple locations throughout Alabama. It is state-licensed, and Medicare certified. The organization was founded in 1991 and is not for profit. Lakeside also notes that it is a faith-based hospice. In addition to providing hospice care, Lakeside also offers other types of care services such as pet care, bill paying, music therapy, etc. Lakeside services multiple areas in Alabama and notes that it has achieved “Partner Level – 3 Status” in the “We Honor Veterans” campaign. The NHPCO, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, developed the “We Honor Veterans” campaign. Lakeside also provides bereavement support. After researching Lakeside, I could not determine if Lakeside is in-home or facility-based (or both) or if Lakeside offers palliative care.
Compassus serves three locations in Alabama and has sites throughout the United States. According to its website, it’s medicare certified, and it is accredited independently through the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP). CHAP is a nonprofit, independent accrediting organization that “provides guidelines and conducts unscheduled, in-person visits to ensure Compassus meet the industry’s highest quality standards.” Compassus also is part of the We Honor Veterans program and provides palliative care. Compassus’ services are comparable to other hospice providers on this list. The company’s site also states it provides four different types of hospice care, including routine home care, continuous care, inpatient care, and respite care. It is unclear if Compassus is not for profit, and I could not determine when it was founded.
5. Encompass Health Hospice
Encompass Health Hospice serves three areas in Alabama. It’s state-licensed and Medicare certified. Encompass Health serves various locations throughout the United States, too. Encompass also provides a variety of medical and health services. Encompass was founded in 1984 and has similar services compared to other hospice providers on this list (they have bereavement services, chaplains, medical social workers, etc.). The company provides care to “wherever the patient calls home.” It’s unclear if Encompass offers palliative care, is for or not for profit, or when it was founded.
6. Kindred Hospice (Part of SouthernCare Hospice)
Kindred Hospice, which is part of Kindred Healthcare (founded in 1985), serves multiple locations throughout Alabama. It’s state-licensed and medicare-certified. Similar to the others on this list, Kindred Hospice provides care for many end-of-life illnesses. However, Kindred specifically mentions memory care, which could be helpful for those with loved ones who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Kindred also is part of We Honor Veterans. It does not appear the Kindred Hospice has palliative care or is not for profit.
7. SouthernCare Hospice Services (part of Kindred Hospice)
SouthernCare Hospice Services (founded in 1995) has multiple locations throughout Alabama. It is state-licensed and Medicare certified. SouthernCare has multiple locations throughout Alabama as well as throughout the United States. The company also has palliative care and is part of the We Honor Veterans program. Similar to the other programs noted here, SouthernCare Hospice has a team of professionals. One program that’s unique to SouthernCare is its Care Transition program. SouthernCare’s website explains that the “Transition Program ensures the right level of care at the right time. Our highly skilled clinicians are trained across disciplines, and agencies have Care Transition team members dedicated to communication and the coordination of care.” It’s unclear if SouthernCare Hospice Services is for or not for profit.
8. Hospice Of Montgomery
Hospice of Montgomery has multiple locations throughout Alabama. It’s also state-licensed and Medicare certified. The provider has been in operation since 1974 and is an independent, not-for-profit hospice. Hospice of Montgomery also provides palliative care. The organization notes that it features an anti-discrimination policy (it’s anti-discrimination, inclusion services provide various language services, such as interpreter services, and more). Hospice of Montgomery also notes it has high patient satisfaction. “…, our Annual Patient Satisfaction survey shows a 95% excellent rating for patient care received under hospice—that’s 26 [percent] higher than the national average of 75 [percent].”
9. Hospice Of West Alabama
Hospice of West Alabama serves multiple areas in Alabama. It is state-licensed, Medicare-certified, and accredited by a joint commission. The organization is not for profit and was founded in 1982. The organization provides different types of hospice care, including:
- Routine home care
- Continuous home care
- General inpatient care
- Inpatient respite care
Hospice of West Alabama also has grief support and has a support group schedule people care peruse. It’s unclear if Hospice of West Alabama offers palliative care.
10. Coosa Valley Hospice
Coosa Valley Hospice serves multiple areas in Alabama. It is state-licensed, Medicare-certified, and accredited by a joint commission. Coosa Valley Medical Center runs this hospice. The hospice center offers care similar to the other providers listed here (chaplain services, social worker help, on-call support, etc.). It’s unclear if Coosa Valley Hospice offers palliative care. It’s unclear if this hospice is for or not for profit, and I could not determine when it was founded.