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 Georgia’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 helpful decision-making tool is Medicare.gov’s provider comparison service.)
Top Hospice And Palliative Care Facilities in Georgia
1. Hospice Care Options
Hospice Care Options (founded in 1997) serves 49 counties in the state. It prides itself on being a local agency that operates “100 percent” in the state. This hospice also notes that all its “decisions are made locally at the agency level.” This hospice provides routine home care, inpatient care, respite care, and continuous care. It also offers palliative care and has:
- Grief counseling and support
- Camp Good Grief, a “day camp fully funded by the Hospice Care Options Foundation and staffed by volunteers.”
This hospice explains how its patients can access it through Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance here. It’s unclear if this hospice is officially Medicare-certified, has a state license, or is accredited. It is “privately held.”
2. GHC (Georgia Hospice Care) Hospice
GHC Hospice (founded in 2014) serves 17 counties in the state. This hospice provides care wherever a patient calls home (a private residence, nursing home, etc.) as well as short-term inpatient care. In addition to providing general hospice care, GHC Hospice also provides bereavement care and “advance care planning.” However, I could not determine if it provides palliative care. And although this hospice is Medicare-certified, it’s unclear if it’s accredited or has a state license. This hospice is “privately held.”
3. Heart of Georgia Hospice, Inc.
Heart of Georgia Hospice, Inc. (founded in 1985) serves several areas in the state. It has a state license, is Medicare-certified, but doesn’t appear to be accredited. Heart of Georgia provides in-home care, inpatient care, and various “grief and healing” services. This hospice describes itself as a community-oriented non-profit organization that offers more than standard hospice care. A few of this hospice’s extra programs include:
- Casserole Ministry
- My Story Program
- Veteran’s Honor Ceremony
- And more
4. Halcyon Hospice of Cumming, GA
Halcyon Hospice, which is part of the LHC group (a “public company” founded in 1994), serves one area in the state. It provides care for patients wherever they live. While Halcyon Hospice states that its services are covered by “Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance,” it does not explicitly say it’s Medicare-certified. And while it’s accredited by The Joint Commission, it does not appear to have a state license. (Note: You can read more about LHC Group’s “Compliance” here and its “Quality” here.) This hospice also is part of the We Honor Veterans program. The NHPCO, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, developed the “We Honor Veterans” program.
5. Weinstein Hospice – Yad V’Lev
Weinstein Hospice serves multiple areas in the state. This hospice “provides spiritual, emotional, and medical support that reflects the traditional Jewish concern for the personal dignity and uniqueness of each human life.” Note that you do not have to follow the Jewish faith to receive care here, as it serves “people of the Jewish faith, any other faith, or no faith at all.” This nonprofit hospice has a state license and is Medicare-certified. It does not appear to be accredited. Since 1999, this hospice has served patients wherever they live. In addition to providing standard hospice care, Weinstein Hospice also provides palliative and bereavement services and grief resources.
6. Agape Hospice of Northeast Georgia
Agape Hospice serves patients in Atlanta and its surrounding counties. It provides services in a patient’s home as well as in an “extended care residence.” This privately-held hospice was founded in 2009. It’s Medicare-certified, but I could not determine if it has a state license or is accredited. This full-service hospice provider offers traditional hospice services as well as “oxygen therapy, IV waning, and wound treatment.” It does not appear that Agape provides palliative care.
7. Abbey Hospice
Abbey Hospice serves patients residing in several areas of the state. It has a state license and is Medicare-certified. It’s unclear if it is accredited. This hospice offers inpatient care at a standalone facility. It also provides bereavement care. Abbey Hospice does not appear to provide palliative care. I also could not determine if this hospice is for or not for profit or when it was founded.
8. Longleaf Hospice, LLC
Longleaf Hospice, LLC, a privately held hospice founded in 2009, provides patient care to several areas throughout the state. In 2009, Longleaf was founded as a “hospice alternative for patients with cancer.” Longleaf’s website explains that it’s “uniquely positioned to provide specialized care for cancer patients as well as an array of other diseases.” Each patient at this hospice receives a “Circle of Care” team to support them and their care network. Longleaf provides its patients and patient families with:
- Routine hospice care (care provided wherever a patient calls home)
- Respite care
- Inpatient hospice care
- Crisis hospice care
- Grief and bereavement support
- Palliative care
It’s unclear if this hospice has a state license, is accredited, or if it’s Medicare-certified. (Longleaf’s FAQ does discuss how patients can use Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance providers to pay for care.)
9. Brightmoor Hospice
Brightmoor Hospice, founded in 2005, provides care to patients in multiple areas throughout the state. It has a state license and is Medicare-certified but doesn’t appear to be accredited. Brightmoor provides patients care wherever they call home. It also offers inpatient and palliative care.
This privately held, locally owned hospice is part of the following associations:
- Second Wind Dream
- Certified Virtual Dementia Tour Facilitators
- Level 4 Provider for We Honor Veterans Program
According to Wellstar’s website, it’s “one of the largest health systems in Georgia.” In addition to its many medical offerings, it has three hospice facilities. The Tranquility at Kennesaw Mtn. location is in Marietta and serves one area (Cobb county). This location received a cumulative 4.4 stars on Google (with 30 reviews). This location provides inpatient care. The Wellstar Health System, founded in 1997, is not for profit, and its “hospitals are certified both overall and in a variety of healthcare service lines by The Joint Commission.” It’s unclear if Wellstar is Medicare-certified or if it has a state license. And although I couldn’t determine if this location has palliative care, the Wellstar health system does employ palliative care physicians.