Hospice Care Admission Process

Our hospice care admission process is designed to thoroughly communicate each step to the patient and their family, answering questions along the way to ensure a comfortable transition into hospice care.


A patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and their physician has provided a prognosis of 6-months or less. The physician recommends hospice care services to facilitate the specialty comfort and symptom care they offer for a better quality of life.


The family selects and calls Pinnacle Hospice Care and our educational liaison answers any initial questions and begins the administrative process.


Upon patient or representative consent, our admissions team will contact the attending physician to confirm hospice care is suitable. Once this is established and agreed upon, the patient or representative will sign a consent form to receive hospice services. The form explains hospice care is for pain relief and symptom control rather than curative treatments.


The admissions nurse care coordinator will then call to schedule an appointment to meet with the hospice patient and family/representative to assess the patient’s needs and review and discuss his/hers and the family’s goals. Hospice care services will be discussed and a specific hospice care plan will be set in motion for your loved one.

Hospice Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible to receive hospice services under the Medicare benefit, a beneficiary must:

Be eligible for Medicare Part A

Be terminally ill with a life expectancy of six (6) months or less (if the disease is to run its normal course)

Have the terminal illness confirmed by the attending physician and the hospice Medical Director

Meet criteria related to their terminal diagnosis

Be willing to sign an election statement identifying services to be provided by hospice— services that are palliative not curative

Agree to give up traditional Medicare benefits related to the terminal diagnosis (after signing on to the hospice benefit)

Have an available relative or friend willing and able to care for the patient (this may be waived under certain circumstances)

Live within the service area of the chosen hospice.

Determination of terminal status is based on a physician’s clinical judgment, and is not an exact science. Congress supports this position in Section 322 of the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 (BIPA), which states the hospice certification of terminal illness “shall be based on the physician’s or medical director’s clinical judgment regarding the normal course of the individual’s illness.”

What is needed from the patient’s family to start the hospice process:

A list of all medications, dosage and how often the medication is taken

Insurance cards including Medicare, Medicaid cards

A copy of advance directives such as Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders

List of in-home medical equipment from suppliers

List of in-home agency staff

Other information hospice admissions needs to know

Other Hospice Information

You may call Pinnacle Palliative & Hospice Care at anytime, even if you are in your research phase and have any questions concerning palliative care and hospice care in general. Our professional staff will answer any questions you may have and direct you where you need to go to obtain any additional information.

The sooner you prepare for palliative and hospice care, the more informed you will be when the time comes to make the decision for your loved one's care.

Upon your consent, our hospice coordinator can contact the patient’s doctor to inform and determine the appropriateness for hospice care. It is a federal law requirement the physician estimates a life expectancy of 6-months or less to receive hospice care.