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In order to begin hospice care, patients must meet the hospice eligibility requirements established by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. While no specific number of symptoms is required when qualifying for hospice, these guidelines can help determine if a patient’s condition is or will soon be appropriate for hospice care.

Hospice Eligibility Requirements:
  • Patient has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition with a prognosis of six months or less if their disease runs its normal course.

  • Frequent hospitalizations in the past six months.

  • Progressive weight loss (taking into consideration edema weight).

  • Increasing weakness, fatigue, and somnolence.

  • A change in cognitive and functional abilities.

  • Compromised Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring/walking, and continence.

  • Deteriorating mental abilities.

  • Recurrent Infections.

  • Skin breakdown.

  • Specific decline in condition.

Disease-specific hospice eligibility criteria
There are also specific hospice eligibility criteria to consider based on the patient’s primary diagnosis.

Please note:

Co-morbidities, the presence of two or more chronic diseases or conditions at the same time, are also a factor to consider in qualifying for hospice.

If you have any doubt about whether the requirements for hospice care have been met, please contact us at 228-575-6251 for a hospice consultation.

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