If you’re ready to refer a patient to Arbor Hospice, the process is simple. Please click on the link below and, in a few quick steps, we can begin assisting you in providing expert care.

Referral Fax: 1-888-466-7578


What are common key barriers that get in the way of physicians making referrals to home-based care providers? How can providers better educate and communicate with physicians to break down those barriers and enhance the care patients receive?

Michael Paletta, MD, FAAHPM, former Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Arbor Hospice – the largest provider of hospice and palliative care services in that state – joins host Stan Massey (lead consultant of Transcend) to discuss physicians’ perspective on supportive care versus curative care and how to overcome barriers in gaining physician referrals.


Working alongside a patient’s physician, Arbor Hospice can assist with everything from pain management to counseling to medical supplies. For whatever level of care that’s needed, we serve as an essential partner in the end-of-life journey.


The first of its kind in Michigan, the NorthStar Institute is the center to support a culture of excellence through knowledge and empowerment.

Focused on improving quality of life for patients and families facing serious illness, the NorthStar Institute provides extensive clinical education and training so bedside staff are prepared to meet the needs of patients and families.

In addition, the NorthStar Institute manages both the Quality and Compliance programs.  These programs are essential to providing comprehensive patient-centered care that meets all regulatory requirements. This oversight ensures that patients and families receive safe, effective care that results in a positive hospice experience and better quality of life.


Hospice is an approach to care that seeks to comfort rather than cure. Hospice offers comprehensive, compassionate care for people at the end of life as well as support for their families. There are more than 3,000 hospice programs across the country and more than 100 in Michigan. Read more about the Arbor Hospice care teams.

Any person facing the advancing stages of a serious illness is eligible for palliative care. Hospice care is appropriate when the following conditions are met:

  • The physician believes that the patient will live six months or less if the disease runs its normal course
  • Aggressive treatments are not working or providing relief
  • The patient, family and physician agree and understand that the focus of hospice care is on comfort (pain control and symptom management), not on finding a cure

All U.S. citizens age 65 and older are entitled to Medicare or Medicaid coverage for hospice at the end of life.

Hospice is a philosophy of care, not a place. Most hospice patients receive care in their home or the home of a loved one or friend. Care can also be provided in many long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals or nursing homes. Some hospices have residential units designed to provide a home-like setting where hospice is provided.

Hospice care is appropriate when treatments are no longer effective and the burden of the disease or condition becomes too much to bear for the patient and family. Our goal is to provide relief from physical and emotional pain so that patients and loved ones can get the very most out of their remaining days.

Anyone can refer a friend or loved one to hospice. While medical professionals often refer their patients, it’s not a requirement. If you would like to refer a patient, you can get started here.

The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other health care professionals, clergy, or friends. Everyone is urged to prepare Advance Directives that spell out the type of care we want to receive at the end of life. is an easy way to eliminate the guesswork and get those who are dying to discuss how they would like their final wishes fulfilled.

If the patient’s condition improves, he or she can be discharged from hospice and return to clinical treatment or resume daily life. If the patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare or Medicaid and most insurance programs allow additional coverage.

When a patient is ready to receive hospice care, we call the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient. The patient will be asked to sign a consent form confirming that the patient understands that hospice care is palliative, that is, aimed at comfort and pain relief, rather than a cure.

Two things. 1.) We’re a non-profit. This frees us to focus entirely on the care of our patients and families—no matter their age, diagnosis, or ability to pay. Simply put, we put people first, always. 2.) We’re innovators. Through research, education and new approaches, The Arbor Hospice Institute is leading the way for end-of-life care in Michigan and throughout the country.

Hospice care is covered by most insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and most commercial insurers and HMOs. Hospice is a covered benefit under Medicare for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Medicare will pay 100% of all hospice team services, medications, durable medical equipment, and medical supplies related to the terminal illness and/or prognosis. Room and board costs in a facility are considered custodial care and are not covered under the Medicare hospice benefit.  Occasionally, other insurers will cover room and board costs. For non-Medicare patients, any applicable patient pays, spend-downs, co-pays, or deductibles will apply.

However, Arbor Hospice accepts everyone who needs and seeks our services regardless of your ability to pay, and we are always willing to work with our patients and families to insure there is open access to our program.

We recommend: The National Hospice and Palliative Care OrganizationNational Hospice FoundationAmerican Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Last Acts. And, of course, you can call Arbor Hospice, any time, day or night: 888-992-2273.