What Is Hospice?

The goal of Hospice is to provide care for people who are terminally ill and to manage their pain and other symptoms.

There are specific criteria for Hospice eligibility for a variety of conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney (Renal) Disease


Focus on the continuous, integrated health care process that a patient/family experience across all aspects of hospice care. Incorporate outcome-orientated quality assessment and performance improvement. Facilitate flexibility in how the Hospice meets performance expectations.

Hospice is primarily a program of care delivered in a person’s home by a Medicare-approved hospice.  Reasonable and necessary medical and support services for the management of a terminal illness are furnished under a plan-of-care established by the beneficiary’s attending physician and the Hospice team.

  • Physician services
  • Nursing care (intermittent with 24-hour on call)
  • Medical appliances and supplies related to the terminal illness
  • Drugs for symptom management and palliation of the terminal condition
  • Short-term inpatient care for acute symptom management which may not be controlled in any other setting
  • Short-term inpatient respite care (limited to five consecutive days per episode)
  • Counseling services including dietary, bereavement, spiritual, and musical
  • Therapy services required in the management of the patient’s terminal condition
  • Therapies may include physical and occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology
  • Ambulance services required for the proper palliation and symptom management of the patient’s terminal illness
  • The Hospice team determines an inpatient level of care is required and due to the patient’s fragile condition ambulance transport is also required to carry out the needed palliative care
  • Medical social services
  • Aide and/or homemaker services
  • Volunteer services