Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hospice Quick Reference

Hospice care is compassionate end-of-life care that includes medical and supportive services intended to provide comfort to individuals who are terminally ill. Care is provided by a team. Hospice is often called “palliative care,” because it aims to manage a patient’s illness and pain, but does not treat the underlying terminal illness.

Hospice care is covered by Medicare if all of the following are true:

  1. The patient is terminally ill and has elected Medicare hospice coverage. Patients are entitled to two 90-day election periods, followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods. (Note: The attending physician (if one exists) and the medical director or physician member of the hospice interdisciplinary team must have certified in writing at the beginning of the first 90-day period that the patient was terminally ill. For all subsequent election periods, only a hospice physician must certify that the patient is terminally ill).
  2. The patient or his or her representative has signed and filed a hospice election form with the hospice of choice.
  3. The hospice provider is Medicare-certified.

To get the most out of hospice care:

Hospice appeals are complex and often difficult, as evidenced by the experience of Howard Back.  For information on both expedited and standard appeals as they should work, see

Comments are closed.