Anyone may make a referral for hospice care: a patient, a family member, a friend, or a physician.
To qualify for hospice services, the patients' physicians must be willing to certify that, given the normal course of the disease, patients' life expectancy is six months or less.
If patients outlive the six-month prognosis, hospice services can continue as long as the personal doctors and the hospice medical director agree that the patients are still appropriate for hospice care.
Patients and/or their families must live within the hospice service area to qualify for hospice care, and must want palliative treatment rather than curative treatment. Patients are accepted for hospice care regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or national origin.