Admission Eligibility Guidelines

Would you be surprised if a patient of yours died within the next 6 months?

Meaningful conversations between providers and their patients about appropriate care choices can lead to better outcomes. Evidence-based medicine is more than just using clinically proven procedures: it is equally important to decide what not to do. When having a dialogue with patients about their care goals when they have a terminal illness, it is helpful to have criteria about hospice guidelines to augment your clinical judgment. The Guideline for Hospice Admission (shown as tabs below) has some helpful tips and descriptions about the benchmarks commonly used when determining eligibility for hospice. Informational visits are available for your patients and can take place at home or in a hospital setting.

Disease Specific Eligibility Guidelines

Tools & Resources

Printable Guidelines to Hospice Admission
Hospice Comfort Medications

Palliative Pearls



Palliative Pearls – “How long has she got, doc?”

Helping families understand a timeline for elders with dementia can relieve suffering and help with planning. 

Dementia Mitchell Mortality Risk Index Score

Points               Risk factor

1.9                   Complete dependence with ADLs
1.9                   Male gender
1.7                   Cancer
1.6                   Congestive heart failure
1.6                   O2  therapy needed w/in 14 day
1.5                   Shortness of breath
1.5                   <25% of food eaten at most meals
1.5                   Unstable medical condition
1.5                   Bowel incontinence
1.5                   Bedfast
1.4                   Age > 83 y
1.4                   Not awake most of the day
Risk estimate of death within 6 months

Score                               Risk %
0                                       8.9  
1-2                                   10.8
3-5                                   23.2
6-8                                   40.4
9-11                                 57.0            
= 12                                 70.0

A score of 9 or above  suggests a patient is hospice eligible.


For more information contact Dr. Leslie Estep or Dr. Anita Meyer at Hospice of the Northwest, 360-814-5550, or  or

Other Provider Resources

Fast Facts
Palliative Doctors
Conversation Project
National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
Vital Talks – Having the tough conversations

For more provider resources contact our office at (360) 814-5550

Provider of the Quarter

Each quarter we are honor a provider or department for their commitment to Hospice of the Northwest and the care of the patients we serve.

This quarter we are honoring Ramy Hanna, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Skagit Regional Health.

Thank you for your dedication!