Catholic Hospice Care Pittsburgh

Individualized care to patients based on their personal needs

Our Catholic Hospice Services

Catholic Hospice is a philosophy of care. Dated back to the early ages, hospices were way stations run by monks for weary travelers. The way stations would provide total care to the traveler – food, medical attention, and boarding, along their journey. Today’s hospice programs are much like those way stations. The traveler is the patient. And the journey is the journey of life.

Hospice care is different then traditional “cure care.” Much like doctors refer their patients to specialists in a specific area of care, hospice is the specialist at end of life. Hope is not forgotten or ignored when the Pinnacle Catholic Hospice team enters into a patient’s home. Our goal is to keep our patients as comfortable as possible, while treating the symptoms of their disease, and enabling them to live their lives as fully as possible. Pinnacle Catholic Hospice provides individualized care to patients based on their personal needs. Our supportive care complements that of family and loved ones, and includes:

Scheduled visits by our care team members including:

Nurses—RNs and LPNs

Home Health Aides

Medical Social Workers

Spiritual Counselors and Pastoral Care

Bereavement Support


Pain management and symptom control

Medications related to the patient’s admitting diagnosis

Equipment and supplies necessary to enhance the quality of life

Short-term respite care as permitted under the Hospice Medicare Benefit

Short-term inpatient care when appropriate

On-call nursing for emergencies and additional support 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

Community education regarding terminal illness and related topics.

Hospice Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible to receive hospice services under the Medicare benefit, a beneficiary must:

Be eligible for Medicare Part A

Be terminally ill with a life expectancy of six (6) months or less (if the disease is to run its normal course)

Have the terminal illness confirmed by the attending physician and the hospice Medical Director

Meet criteria related to their terminal diagnosis

Be willing to sign an election statement identifying services to be provided by hospice— services that are palliative not curative

Agree to give up traditional Medicare benefits related to the terminal diagnosis (after signing on to the hospice benefit)

Have an available relative or friend willing and able to care for the patient (this may be waived under certain circumstances)

Live within the service area of the chosen hospice.

Determination of terminal status is based on a physician’s clinical judgment, and is not an exact science. Congress supports this position in Section 322 of the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 (BIPA), which states the hospice certification of terminal illness “shall be based on the physician’s or medical director’s clinical judgment regarding the normal course of the individual’s illness.”