4 Levels of Hospice Care For Your Patients with End-of-Life Care Needs

12/15/2017

Physician discusses needs with patient and husband

The Medicare Hospice benefit covers 4 levels of care for your hospice-eligible patients. Medicare payments for each level include all services, medications, equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness. VITAS has services and resources to provide care at all 4 levels.

VITAS can transition your eligible patients to hospice care so they can take advantage of all covered services and supplies.

Routine Home Care

The majority of hospice services are provided via routine home care. In 2015, 98.7% of hospice care provided was in this category. Routine home care includes scheduled, routine visits in the home by a multidisciplinary care team, including hospice physician, registered nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, volunteer and bereavement specialist. “Home” is defined as the patient’s residence, which may be a private home, assisted living facility or nursing facility.

Continuous Home Care

Continuous home care is provided during brief periods of crisis. When pain or other symptoms become acute and cannot be adequately managed with routine home care, continuous home care provides up to 24 hours of nursing care a day.

Inpatient Care

When acute or chronic pain or other symptoms cannot be managed in the home, or when attempts at management have been ineffective, inpatient care provides round-the-clock care in a Medicare-certified hospice bed in the hospital, a dedicated hospice inpatient facility or a nursing facility. Patients return to their homes and routine home care when symptoms stabilize.

VITAS can transition your eligible patients to hospice care so they can take advantage of all covered services and supplies. 

Inpatient Respite Care

Primary caregivers are at risk for burnout—respite care can provide a temporary break. Hospice patients receive 24-hour care in a Medicare-certified hospital, hospice facility or long-term care facility for up to 5 days.

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