For Healthcare Professionals

Hospice and Palliative Care Eligibility Guidelines

Does your patient need hospice or palliative care?

Patients are eligible for hospice care when a physician makes a clinical determination that life expectancy is six months or less if the terminal illness runs its normal course.

Hospice Eligibility Guidelines

These general guidelines will help you determine if your patient is eligible for hospice. The guidelines are provided as a convenient tool and are not meant to take the place of a physician's professional judgment.

Hospice Eligibility Guidelines

Timely and appropriate identification of hospice-eligible patients increases the likelihood that they and their families will benefit from compassionate, end-of-life care.

By law, healthcare professionals must certify that patients meet guidelines to be eligible for a referral to a hospice provider.    

For a patient to be eligible for hospice, consider the following guidelines: 

  • The illness is terminal (a prognosis of ≤ 6 months) and the patient and/or family has elected palliative care. 
  • The patient has a declining functional status as determined by either: 
    • Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) rating of ≤ 50%-60% 
    • Dependence in 3 of 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) 
  • The patient has alteration in nutritional status, e.g., > 10% loss of body weight over last 4-6 months 
  • The patient has an observable and documented deterioration in overall clinical condition in the past 4-6 months, as manifested by at least one of the following: 
    • ≥ 3 hospitalizations or ED visits 
    • Decrease in tolerance to physical activity
    • Decrease in cognitive ability
  • Other comorbid conditions 

Palliative Care Guidelines

Palliative care provides patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. Palliative care can be started at any time during the illness and can be provided in addition to curative treatments.

Here are some of the guidelines to determine if your patient could benefit from palliative care.

Patient Guidelines for Palliative Care

Palliative medicine is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It provides evaluation of disease states, recommendations for symptomatic treatment options and consideration of alternative treatment and care choices.

Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.

What Are the Goals of Palliative Medicine?

The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Our palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient's primary care physician and other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.

Palliative Care Guidelines

Our interdisciplinary palliative care team addresses everything from pain management, to crises of faith, to weight loss, to community resources. They work with newly diagnosed patients and those struggling with the after-effects of curative therapies.

A palliative consult with your patient provides timely and specific information that helps the patient and family understand what palliative medicine brings to the table, and helps you provide the most appropriate care.

Our in-home consultations are free. 

We are done of the only licensed palliative Medicare programs in Arizona. There is no out-of-pocket cost to your patients. 

Consider a Palliative Care Consultation for Your Patient

Our in-home evaluations are free to your patient.

If you patient is interested in palliative care, you can send us a referral or have them call us directly. 

Settings of Care

Savior Hospice supports many care models and settings. 

We bring care to our patients. Our team makes regular visits at the bedside, wherever a patient calls home — a family residence, a long-term care facility, or a hospice unit — and we are on-duty 24 hours a day/seven days a week.