Hospice care is a beautiful service that benefits millions of people every year.  But, what criteria does a person have to have to qualify for hospice?  The truth is that there are quite a few things that need to be present in a patient’s situation before they can be eligible for hospice under Medicare. There’s no specific set of diagnoses or symptoms that will qualify a person for hospice, but there are general guidelines.  Having just one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily mean a person will be eligible for hospice.  But, exhibiting several of these conditions may indicate that the person in question will qualify.  This blog will briefly outline those guidelines.

Terminal Diagnosis

By definition, hospice care’s purpose is to comfort and soothe a patient at the end of their life.  So, a patient must have a terminal diagnosis and a life expectancy of fewer than six months to qualify for hospice services.

Frequent Hospitalizations

Suppose a physician notices a patient has been hospitalized multiple times in six months. In that case, it will indicate to them that hospice may be necessary and that patient will likely qualify for those services.

Increased Weakness

Many people, at the end of their life, experience increases in weakness and fatigue.  When those conditions take a significant toll on a person’s day-to-day life, it could indicate they’ll qualify for hospice care.

Progressive Weight Loss

One thing that usually indicates deteriorating health is progressive weight loss.  It can show a decrease in appetite or another underlying problem like cancer, Alzheimer’s, or digestive problems.  In any case, progressive weight loss is something that a person should discuss with their doctor.  It may mean it’s time to consider hospice care.

Difficulty in Everyday Activities

Suppose a person has difficulty independently participating in daily activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, walking, and essential grooming and hygiene.  In that case, it could be an indicator that they need hospice care and will qualify for those services.

Recurrent Infections

Recurrent infections may be an indicator that the body is shutting down and is having difficulty remaining healthy.  If recurrent infections are occurring, it may be time to consider hospice.

This list is in no way exhaustive, as there are several more things a physician will look for before recommending hospice care.  However, these are the most common conditions we see in people who we admit to hospice care.  If you want to learn more about hospice, check out our blog!

If you’d like more information on hospice services or want to find out if you or a loved one are eligible to receive them, please give us a call today!

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