In order to qualify for hospice care, a doctor or medial professional must certify that a patient has a terminal illness and will probably have six months or less to live.
As always, it is difficult to put a timeline on a patient’s life, but most insurers and all Medicare administrators will require this diagnosis before they will cover the cost of hospice care.
Patients may also switch in and out of hospice care as a medical condition worsens or improves. For example, a person whose cancer goes into remission may switch out of hospice care, but enter it again if symptoms recur. It’s also acceptable for a patient to move in or out of hospice care simply because he or she has a change of heart or is anxious to try a new type of medical treatment