Why Now?

Hospice is an important and beneficial end-of-life service that provides care for the patient and family.

The Medicare Hospice Benefit requires that a terminally ill patient have a prognosis of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course.
Please keep in mind there is not a six-month limit to hospice care services.

It is important to recognize that half of all patients who require hospice receive less than 21 days of care out of a six-month benefit. Looking for the silent transition will help you be aware of the subtle progression someone is making toward hospice eligibility, before a crisis strikes. If you observe any of the following, someone may be beginning their silent transition from chronic illness to end of life:

  • Increased hospitalizations over the past year
  • Emergency room/urgent care visits
  • Recent or progressive weight loss/gain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in comprehension
  • Requires more assistance with activities of daily living
  • Increased incontinence
  • Decrease in stamina
  • Increased edema
  • Increased shortness of breath with/without activity
  • Oxygen dependency
  • Decrease in communication
  • Increase in disorientation or confusion
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Less likely to smile
  • Taking nine or more daily medications
  • Increased number of wounds
  • Wounds do not heal properly
  • Physician’s office visits are missed

What’s Next?

If you have checked one or more symptoms listed, your patient could be entering end of life and in need of hospice care. Agape Care will assess your patient for hospice eligibility, enhancing your existing care with the following:

  • Hospice skilled nursing
  • Spiritual care
  • Certified nursing aides
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Bereavement services
  • Social work services


Hospice Underutilization

  • Only ~26% of patients receive 90 days of care on hospice
  • 40% of patients are on service less than two weeks

Early intervention prevents crisis, reduces emergency department visits, and promotes better care


Determining Hospice Eligibility

There are different methodologies and indicators that can help determine whether your patient is eligible for hospice.

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