Open Access


Open Access

Open Access is a hospice program that allows patients currently receiving medical treatments and/or experiencing intense psychosocial issues access to hospice services earlier; a blended model between curative and palliative care.

Who is eligible?

  • Patients with a terminal illness who have a 6 month prognosis
  • Patients who continue to receive medical treatments such as:
    • IV antibiotics
    • IV nutrition and IV heart medications
    • Ventilator support
    • Cardiac drips
    • Chest tubes
    • Hemo/peritoneal dialysis for hospice diagnosis
    • Palliative radiation
    • Biological response modifiers i.e., Procrit®, Neupogen®, Epogen®
    • Patients who need additional time to complete the discharge planning from the acute care setting
  • Patients with complex psychosocial needs who have not:
    • Made long-term care plans
    • Engaged in thorough acute care discharge planning
    • Been able to arrange care giving
    • Applied for Medicaid or have other financial needs

Benefits of Open Access Hospice

  • Increases time for patients and families to engage in advance care planning and process issues related to the advanced illness while utilizing services.
  • Allows patients to receive hospice level services earlier, providing them with more assistance in care planning needs.
  • Supports strong collaborative relationships with the referral source during difficult communications with patients and families.
  • Starts supportive care or hospice while patients are making the transition from curative to palliative care.
  • Helps patients and families understand futile care and allows them to request discontinuation of measures (Benefit vs. Burden).
  • Reduces length of stay in an acute care setting.

When to refer a patient

When patients are carrying the above-mentioned interventions but with a terminal prognosis. Each patient is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Who pays for Open Access?

Open Access is covered under the Medicare hospice benefit. Coverage under a managed care contract is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.