For Physicians
Attending Physician Payment Guide for Hospice Patients
Medicare clarifies perspective on hospice six month prognosis
Medicare recognizes Adult Failure to Thrive as hospice diagnosis

Adult Failure to Thrive Syndrome / Debility Unspecified

Medicare has recognized the difficulty in determining a six-month or less prognosis for declining patients who have no specific disease process. For this reason, Medicare has developed criteria for using the diagnosis Adult Failure to Thrive Syndrome / Debility Unspecified for hospice patients.

An example would be an elderly woman whose intake has declined over the preceding months. She is relatively inactive, and often bed-bound. She may have significant co-morbid conditions such as heart disease, dementia, CVA, or renal failure, but not to a degree that would independently qualify her for hospice admission.

Previously it may have been difficult to decide when this patient was appropriate for hospice care. The criteria developed by Medicare for Adult Failure to Thrive Syndrome / Debility Unspecified makes it possible for these patients to meet hospice eligibility.


If you have questions regarding Adult Failure to Thrive Syndrome / Debility Unspecified, please contact Hospice of Kitsap County at (360) 698-4611 or e-mail referral@hospiceofkitsapcounty.org.