Information about Hospice

A prospective patient or family member may call Hospice & Palliative Care for information at any time. Early contact will help patients and families make informed decisions regarding future choices. Obtaining all appropriate information about Hospice & Palliative Care will help both patients and families understand the role of Hospice & Palliative Care, should their services be elected. The Hospice & Palliative Care staff will contact the prospective patient's doctor to determine the medical appropriateness for Hospice. Federal law requires that the physician estimate a life expectancy of six months or less, assuming the disease runs its normal course, to receive care. Often, the doctor or the hospital discharge planner will contact Hospice & Palliative Care after they have discussed the hospice option with the patient and family. One actually becomes a HPCI patient by signing a consent form electing hospice care.

Anyone can call the Hospice & Palliative Care Admissions Department for additional information or referrals without obligation at (315) 735-6484 or 1-800-317-5661 or email us at

Admission Process

  • With the patient’s consent, the Admissions Department will contact the attending physician to ensure that he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate.
  • The patient or representative will be asked to sign consent for election of hospice services. The consent is similar to the form a patient signs when entering a hospital. It states that the patient understands that hospice care is palliative, aimed at pain relief and symptom control, rather than being a curative treatment. It also outlines the multiple hospice services that will be provided to the patient and family.
  • Once a patient’s physician and Hospice agree that hospice care may be appropriate for the patient, the Admissions Department will make an appointment for an Admissions Nurse to visit the patient and family. This visit is to further explain hospice services, to assess the patient’s needs, and to discuss the patient’s and family’s goals of care.
  • The patient and the family should have the following information ready for the Hospice staff members before they arrive.

    • All medications, dosages, and how often medication is taken should be written on a piece of paper.
    • Any insurance cards and Medicare and/or Medicaid cards should also be available.
    • We respect the patient’s rights and wishes regarding who may receive information, if necessary, regarding their condition. Therefore, we ask that you provide us with a complete list of names, addresses and phone numbers of any family members or friends who the patient wants information given to regarding their condition.
    • A copy of any advance directives, such as a Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney or Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR).
    • A listing of any durable medical equipment in the home that is from a supplier.
    • A list of any staff in the home from an agency.
    • Any other significant information the admission staff may need to know