Hospice program: criteria, services, funding

  1. Admission to a hospice program is possible when the physican establishes a prognosis that the patient is not expected to live longer than 6 months.
  2. The patient or legal representative makes the decision to no longer pursue medical treatment that is intended to cure their disease. Once on hospice care the patient or legal represntative can change their mind and revoke hospice and pursue treatment for their terminal illness.
  3. Hospice provides physical, spiritual, emotional and psychosocial support to patients and their families.
  4. Hospice service can be paid for by Medicare (Part A), Medicaid, or private insurance. It is for all age groups, including children, adults and the elderly during their final stages of life.
  5. The Medicare Hospice Benefit is reimbursed under a system of prospective payment in which the hospice agency is paid a flat fee per patient per day to provide the needed services. The fee paid to the agency is the same amount for all patients receiving services

Source: S. Prost, MSW (personal communication, October18, 2009)