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Eligibility/Hospice Criteria

Questions

For Hospice eligibility questions, please call 1-800-700-8807.

Hospice is a routine part of medicine, representing an important resource in the completion of good medical care. Yet only a minority of dying patients (approximately 18%) receive hospice care. Of those that do receive hospice, approximately one-third will be admitted too late for it to be fully effective. Patient and family satisfaction surveys indicate that overall satisfaction scores improve as length of stay on hospice increases.

Patient assessment in end-of-life care differs from other clinical assessments in that its focus is aggressive pain and symptom management versus cure or control of disease. An assessment of the whole patient is needed to determine eligibility for hospice. The assessment process itself will become an effective therapeutic tool, providing an opportunity to communicate information regarding the patient's prognosis and the need for advance planning and personal preparation.

Hospice Appropriateness Worksheet
(Note: this form requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.)

Core Indicators

  • Life-limiting condition with clinical progression (may be due to a specific diagnosis, a combination of diseases, or there may be no specific diagnosis defined)
  • Weight loss >10% over 6 months
  • Serum Albumin < 2.5 gm/dl
  • Dependence in most Activities of Daily Living (dressing, bathing, feeding, continence of urine and stool, transfers, and ambulation to bathroom)