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 Arkansas’ 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. (Note that not all providers check all the “boxes.” I didn’t eliminate these providers because I acknowledge a website can only tell you so much. I recommend calling the providers listed to get all the details.) 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 helpful decision-making tool is Medicare.gov’s provider comparison service.)
Top Hospice And Palliative Care Facilities in Arkansas
1. Arkansas Hospice
Arkansas Hospice has a 43 county service area in the state. It’s state-licensed, Medicare and Medicaid-certified, and not for profit. It was founded in 1992. Arkansas Hospice also is:
- A member of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Arkansas
- A recipient of the Healthcare First Hospice Honors elite award for exceptional care and service
- The only healthcare provider in the state that’s certified by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs for nonprofit service to veterans
- Arkansas’ first Five-Star accredited We Honor Veterans Hospice Partner. (The NHPCO, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, developed the “We Honor Veterans” campaign.)
Arkansas Hospice has inpatient and at-home services, palliative services, as well as a range of other diverse services, including grief support, pediatric care, and a promise to “Diversity Equity and Inclusion.”
2. Caring Hands Hospice Inc.
Caring Hands Hospice Inc. serves four areas in Arkansas and has two locations. It’s operated since 2006. Caring Hands Hospice Inc. is state-licensed and Medicare-certified. It appears that Caring Hands Hospice Inc. doesn’t have facilities and serves people where they live (in their home, independent living center, assisted living center, or nursing home). This hospice’s care options are similar to others on this list. I could not determine if Caring Hands Hospice Inc. is for or not-for-profit or provides palliative care.
3. Dierksen Hospice
Dierksen Hospice has locations in Arkansas and Texas. The hospice is Medicare and Medicaid-certified, but It’s unclear who provides this hospice’s licensing and accreditation. Along with providing bereavement care, Dierksen also provides standard hospice care similar to other hospice providers on this list. This hospice was founded in 2006 and is privately owned. It appears that Dierksen Hospice gives care in a patient’s home and not a standalone facility. I also could not determine if this hospice provides palliative care.
4. The Flo & Phil Jones Hospice House (part of St. Bernards Hospice and St. Bernards Healthcare)
The Flo & Phil Jones Hospice House is part of St. Bernards Hospice. This hospice home serves one area and is a free-standing facility. It provides general inpatient care, residential care, and respite care. The house is Medicare and Medicaid-certified. St. Bernard Hospice, the organization that the Flo & Phil Jones Hospice House is part of, has operated since 1989. It’s also the “only hospital-based Joint Commission-certified Hospice program in Northeast Arkansas,” as well as the only hospice program in the region that features “palliative radiation” to help relieve symptoms. In addition, St. Bernards Hospice offers home-based care.
5. Heart of Hospice
Heart of Hospice has 16 locations throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. It was founded in 2017 and was purchased by Evening Post Industries (EPI) in 2017. EPI is privately held. Heart of Hospice also offers palliative care and it’s Medicare-certified. This hospice provides similar routine care compared to others on this list and is part of the We Honor Veterans program. Heart of Hospice also features its “Levels of Care” offered, which reflect where and how the patient can receive help. The hospice will provide a patient:
- Routine home care
- General inpatient care
- Continuous care
- Respite care
6. Hospice of Central Arkansas
Hospice of Central Arkansas (referred to as Elite Hospice here) has multiple locations in Arkansas and is part of the LHC Group, which has many sites nationwide. LHC Group provides in-home healthcare as well as home- and community-based services and facility-based care. It was founded in 1994. It’s unclear if Elite Hospice provides palliative care if it’s for or not-for-profit, or where the hospice provides patients care. This hospice is state-licensed, Medicare-certified, and accredited by a joint commission.
7. Hospice House (Hospice of the Ozarks)
Hospice House (also referred to as Hospice of the Ozarks here) serves two locations in Arkansas. It’s state-licensed and Medicare-certified. (This hospice is associated with Baxter Regional Medical Center, which allows it to provide patients care throughout their lives). This provider was founded in 1979 and is not-for-profit. It includes palliative care as well as home and inpatient care. It’s also part of the We Honor Veterans program. Services are similar to other hospice providers on this list. One unique Hospice House offering is its “Pet Peace of Mind” program. Hospice House also provides comprehensive bereavement and grief support.
8. Life Touch Hospice
Life Touch Hospice has operated since 1991, serves five Arkansas counties, and has three offices. This hospice is not-for-profit. Life Touch Hospice states it takes Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance policies and that its “social workers can assist with the application process for these programs” if needed. Life Touch Hospice serves patients in their homes, long-term care facilities, and a standalone hospice house. It does not appear that this hospice provides palliative care. This hospice’s care options are similar to others on this list. It’s unclear who provides this hospice’s licensing and accreditation.
9. Mercy Hospice
Mercy Hospice, which is part of the Mercy health system (founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1986), serves five Arkansas counties. Mercy Hospice states its “Hospice is fully covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private health insurance plans,” but I could not determine who accredited or licensed the hospice provider. Additionally, it’s unclear if Mercy Hospice provides Palliative Care. I was unable to determine where Mercy Hospice provides care. However, Mercy Hospice provides its hours (office hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, and there’s a 24-hour Hospice number listed) on its website. I also could not find wording that stated if Mercy Hospice was for or not for profit.
10. Washington Regional Hospice
Wahington Regional Hospice is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It serves patients in their homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and offers inpatient care at its Willard Walker Hospice House. The hospice is a member of the National Hospice Organization as well as the Arkansas State Hospice Association. Its program is certified by a joint commission and is “affiliated with a community owned, operated and locally governed not-for-profit Medical System.” Washington Regional offers common hospice services (bereavement, etc.) and specialized care (it’s “authorized to offer care for pediatric and HIV patients”). Washington Regional Hospice also is Medicare-certified. The hospital’s origins date back to 1950. Unfortunately, I could not determine if Washington Regional Hospice provides palliative care.