Serving Roanoke, Lynchburg and Surrounding Communities      |     800-789-0586     |     Accepting applications for RNs

Hospice Eligibility Criteria

Hospice care is for terminally ill patients with a prognosis of six months or less.

Although it can be a challenge to determine whether a patient is medically appropriate for hospice care, there are guidelines to assist physicians in making this decision. Typically, a patient is appropriate for hospice services when:

  • the prognosis of their disease is 6 months or less, if the illness runs a normal course
  • the patient is no longer seeking curative treatments and agrees to hospice care

Gentle Shepherd Hospice offers complimentary consultations and a Registered Nurse can evaluate the patient to determine if hospice care is appropriate.

Below are common diagnoses and symptoms seen in hospice eligible patients. (This is not a complete list as it is designed to be an overview only.)

For more detailed medical criteria, please download our Hospice Eligibility Guide.      (Source: Ross and Sanchez-Reilly 2008)


  • Failure of the disease to respond to treatment
  • Metastsasis
  • Pain
  • Weight loss


  • Inability to speak
  • Incontinence of bowel and/or bladder
  • Unable to feed self, bathe and get dressed
  • Unable to ambulate without assistance

Heart Disease (including CHF)

  • EF of 20% or less
  • Recurrent episodes of CHF despite medical management
  • Severe fatigue

Pulmonary Disease

  • Disabling dyspnea at rest
  • Increased visits to the ER or hospital for respiratory infections or failure
  • Hypoxemia at rest with supplemental O2
  • Unintentional weight loss of over 10% of the body weight in past 6 months

Referring a Patient?

The process is simple. Please call 800-789-0586 or fill out the secure online referral form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Same day admissions.

Submit Referral
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