A Guide to the Types of Hospice Care

Who Pays for Hospice?

Hospice care is a type of care that provides comfort, support, and dignity to people who are nearing the end of their lives. When your doctor determines that you or a loved one has six months or fewer to live and has opted to forego curative treatments, hospice care is the best option.

When you contact a hospice service provider, choose a professional who can assist you with your end-of-life journey. Based on your loved ones’ requirements, they can provide different types of hospice care services. They take a holistic approach, addressing the patient’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual requirements.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has established 4 levels of hospice care or 4 levels of care in nursing.

While each hospice regimen is unique, the levels of hospice care are universal. This article explains in detail the different hospice levels.

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What Are the Four Levels of Hospice Care?

Anyone qualified for Medicare can receive one of the below-mentioned different types of hospice care based on their medical condition.

Routine Home Care

Once a patient has agreed to receive hospice care, they will receive routine care focused on maximizing their comfort and quality of life. It’s the most basic degree of hospice care available in your home, assisted living facility, or nursing home. This hospice level of care includes medical social services, pain treatment, symptom management, emotional and spiritual counseling for the patient and family, aid with daily duties, nutritional assistance, and therapeutic services. Additional services such as grief counseling, medication, equipments are also included in this stage.

Continuous Home Care

Continuous home care, or crisis care, is when a nurse resides in your home for longer if your loved one has serious symptoms like unrelieved pain or shortness of breath and requires more extensive care.

It is beneficial for both the patient and the family to have 24-hour or long-term assistance from a nurse during this type of medical crisis so that caregivers may focus on being with their loved one in a family role rather than providing hands-on care.

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General Inpatient Care

If a patient’s symptoms can no longer be controlled at home, inpatient care may be required. Severe pain or other symptoms demand specialized treatment, which is more efficiently delivered during a brief stay in a hospice facility. If your loved one’s conditions become more severe, the hospice team may consider transferring your loved one to the nearest inpatient level of care. This is usually a short-term situation at a hospital’s hospice ward or a  dedicated care facility.

Many patients choose to receive hospice care in a dedicated, free-standing hospice facility. Compared to a busy hospital, inpatient hospices tend to be a more relaxing and familiar environment. Visitors are welcome to spend the night if necessary.

A primary goal of inpatient hospice care is to provide relief from severe pain and other symptoms so that your loved one can soon resume their regular hospice care in their own home.

Respite Care

The respite level of hospice care is delivered on an as-needed basis. It provides unpaid family caregivers with a planned, short-term break from the challenges of aiding a loved one with a terminal disease. Suppose your loved one’s plan of care requires 24-hour care. In that case, it can only be offered at a Medicare-certified inpatient hospice facility, hospital, or skilled nursing facility with the ability to provide round-the-clock nursing care.

Respite care normally has a time limit of days and can only be provided on rare occasions. According to Medicare criteria, it is for hospice patients who meet specific conditions. Although not all inpatient hospice facilities provide respite care, it can be a lifesaver for patients who require more intensive care regularly. Please discuss the respite level of care with your hospice nurse.

How to Find out the Right Level of Hospice Care?

It is important to remember that each patient is unique and requires a personalized treatment plan. While some patients may only require little assistance with a few daily chores, others may require round-the-clock care.

Your physician or hospice team will assist you in determining the degree of hospice care that is right for you or a loved one. The principle of hospice care is the same at all four levels: to provide competent medical treatment and emotional support while respecting the patient’s individual choices.

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For patients, hospice care provides a detailed mental and physical regimen. All of a patient’s needs are considered when designing a treatment plan. With the help of experts, families can decide on the best level of hospice care for their loved ones.

All American Hospice recognizes each patient’s unique condition and requires a customized care plan. With so many different hospice levels of care codes, understanding hospice can be challenging and confusing. Call us today to schedule a free phone consultation and learn more about how we can help you and your family members.

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