The NHO Medical Guidelines for Non-Cancer Disease and local medical review policy: hospice access for patients with diseases other than cancer

Hosp J. 1999;14(3-4):139-54.


For much of its history, hospice focused on problems related to malignant disease. Recently, however, non-cancer diagnoses such as congestive heart failure, emphysema and Alzheimer's disease have comprised an increasing proportion of hospice referrals. This paper details criteria published by NHO and adopted by the US Health Care Financing Administration for hospice eligibility for common non-cancer diagnoses. A provisional list of domains for documenting "evidence of rapid decline," by which patients with advanced disease who do not meet criteria can still be certified for the Medicare Hospice Benefit, is also outlined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease*
  • Coma / therapy
  • Dementia / therapy
  • Eligibility Determination / organization & administration
  • HIV Infections / therapy
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Heart Diseases / therapy
  • Hospice Care / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Liver Diseases / therapy
  • Lung Diseases / therapy
  • Patient Selection*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms
  • Stroke / therapy