In order to begin hospice care, patients must meet hospice eligibility requirements established by the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
While no specific number of symptoms is required to qualify for hospice, these guidelines can help determine if a patient’s condition is appropriate for hospice care.

Hospice Eligibility Requirements

  • Patient has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition and a prognosis of six months or less if their disease runs its normal course
  • Frequent hospitalizations in the past six months
  • Progressive weight loss (taking into account weight from edema)
  • Increasing weakness, fatigue, and somnolence
  • A change in cognitive and functional abilities
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are compromised – this includes eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, walking, and continence
  • Deteriorating mental abilities
  • Recurrent infections
  • Skin breakdown
  • Specific decline in condition

What Diseases Are Hospice Eligible?

It’s important to note that the presence of two or more chronic diseases or conditions at the same time are factored into consideration to qualify for hospice.

Below is a list of some of the diseases that qualify a patient for hospice care, though there are others not listed as well:

  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)/Stroke
  • COPD/Cardiopulmonary Disease
  • Dementia
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurological Conditions (non-Alzheimer’s dementia,
  • Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, and Huntington’s Disease)
  • Renal Disease