Guidelines

Hospice may be appropriate when there is considerable effort in the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as bathing, dressing, transferring from bed to chair, ambulating or walking and/or toileting. These would be in addition to a defined life limiting condition. To meet the eligibility requirement for receiving hospice services, you must be under the care of a licensed physician; if you currently do not have a physician, we have one available for you. The services must be deemed reasonable and necessary according to Medicare, Medicaid, and/or insurance; and you must be terminally ill with life expectancy of six (6) months or less if the illness runs its normal course.


Diagnoses commonly associated with hospice care are Cancer and other end-stage illness such as :

  • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Shortness of breath with exertion
    • Ejection fraction of 20% or less
    • Recurrent/recurring symptoms of CHF (Chronic Heart Failure)
    • Activity intolerance
    • Poor response to maximum medical management with diuretics and vasodilators

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Non-ambulatory
    • Incontinent of bowel and/or bladder
    • Frequent recent hospital visits
    • Recurrent infections
    • ADL assistance required
    • Lack of meaningful verbal communication
    • Weight loss

  • Respiratory Disease
    • Increasing number of emergency room visits, respiratory failure or respiratory infections
    • Shortness of breath at rest
    • Oxygen dependency
    • Poor response to bronchodilators
  • Liver disease / Renal Disease
    • Diagnosis of liver disease
    • Abnormal liver enzymes
    • Jaundice
    • Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity)
    • No longer receiving dialysis
    • Confusion, obtundation (increasingly less alert)
    • Intractable nausea and vomiting
    • Intractable fluid overload

  • AIDS/HIV
    • Weight loss
    • Decreased and decreasing ability to care for oneself
    • Chronic persistent diarrhea
    • Changes in lab values

  • Coma or Stroke

  • Cancer
    • Findings that malignancy is widespread, aggressive or progressive
    • Decreased/decreasing PPS
    • Refusal of further curative treatment(s)

Patients are eligible for hospice care when their physician determines the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice appropriate individuals may have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Uncontrolled or increased/increasing pain
  • Increasing emergency room visits or hospitalizations
  • Weight loss that is progressive (such as a loss of more than 10% of body weight or more over six months)
  • Recurrent/recurring infections
  • Decline in functional status
  • Decline in mental capabilities and/or abilities
  • Multiple decubitis ulcers (also known as pressure wound or bed sore)
  • Increasing problems with breathing
  • Decreasing Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) score

Please note that comorbidities may support eligibility for hospice care. Riceland Hospice® will admit any patient with a life-limiting illness that meets the admission criteria.

Riceland Hospice® reserves the right not to accept any patient who does not meet the admission criteria. The patient will be referred to other resources if an individual doesn't meet hospice criteria as established by CMS or if Riceland Hospice® is unable to meet his/her needs.

Once a patient is admitted to service, Riceland Hospice® will be responsible for providing care and services within its financial and service capabilities, mission, and applicable law and regulations.