Judith Schwarz, RN, PhD, Clinical Coordinator, interviewed on NPR Fresh Air program.
August 23, 2013

Hospice Eligibility Extended to 12 months

Hospice Eligibility Extended to 12 months

The Public Health Law, Section 4002. 5, has been amended to allow for people to enroll in hospice if they have a life expectancy of approximately one year, extended from the current six months. Although this is a positive change the medicare benefit will still only cover those who might reasonably be expected to die within 6 months. Private insurance may cover this.

See Legislation.

Public Health § 4002. Definitions. As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:


  • Hospice” means a coordinated program of home and in-patient care which treats the terminally ill patient and family as a unit, employing an interdisciplinary team acting under the direction of an autonomous hospice administration. The program provides palliative and supportive care to meet the special needs arising out of physical, psychological, spiritual, social and economic stresses which are experienced during the final stages of illness, and during dying and bereavement.
  • “Hospice demonstration program participant” means a hospice which was approved to participate in the hospice demonstration program established pursuant to chapter seven hundred eighteen of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-eight and is operating on the thirtieth day of June, nineteen hundred eighty-three.
  • “Home” shall include a hospice patient’s home or a hospice residence.
  • “Hospice residence” means a hospice operated home which is residential in character and physical structure and operated for the purpose of providing more than two hospice patients but not more than eight hospice patients with hospice care, which may include dually certified hospice in-patient beds.
  • “Construction” means construction as defined in section thirty-six hundred two of this chapter.
  • “Public health council” and “state hospital review and planning council” shall mean the public health and health planning council.
  • “Terminally ill” means an individual has a medical prognosis that the individual’s life expectancy is approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course.

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