Eligibility and Admission Criteria

Anyone who has a life-limiting illness with a prognosis of six months or less, and wishes to spend his or her final months at home is eligible for hospice service. While most hospice patients have been diagnosed with life-limiting cancer, patients with other end-stage illnesses are also eligible. No one is denied service because of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, diagnosis, or ability to pay.

Medicare Hospice Benefit Periods:

Medicare hospice benefit periods (effective August 5, 1997) include:

  • Two (2) initial 90-day benefit periods
  • Unlimited number of subsequent 60-day benefit periods for patients who continue to meet hospice criteria of a terminal illness and a prognosis expectancy of six months or less

Admission Criteria:

  • Terminal prognosis of six months of life or less
  • Physician supports the hospice philosophy of care, provides hospice with an admitting diagnosis, prognosis, medical findings, medication and treatment orders, and plans for on-going medical management
  • Patient and family desire palliative care and understand the hospice philosophy
  • Patients wish to stay at home during the remainder of their life
  • Patients have a primary caregiver or qualify for the Penn Wissahickon Hospice Living Alone Program
Any exception to routine admission criteria must be made by the Penn Wissahickon Hospice Medical Director and Director of Patient Services in consultation with appropriate nursing, social service, pastoral counselor, and/or volunteer coordinator.


Lessons Learned from Cancer
by Bob Riter
December 17, 2015