Who May Receive Hospice Care?

The focus of hospice care is on palliative medicine and supportive services rather than the curative or cure-oriented therapies and interventions. Patients who have been certified with a terminal prognosis by the primary physician or hospice medical director are considered for the program. Hospice care is a covered Medicare benefit. Following the development of the Medicare Hospice Benefit, commercial insurance carriers began to offer hospice coverage.

Five Principles Of Hospice Care

  1. Respects the goals, likes, and choices of a dying person
  2. Looks after the medical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the dying person
  3. Supports the needs of the family members
  4. Helps gain access to needed health care providers and appropriate care settings
  5. Builds ways to provide excellent care at the end of life

Levels of Hospice Care

The following levels of care are covered under the Hospice benefit:

  • Routine Home Hospice Care: care is provided for the patient in their home or other place of residence (for example Board- and- Care of a Nursing Facility). The patient receives visits from the Hospice team (staff and AmeriHealth Hospice physicians), even if the patient is hospitalized or in a nursing facility.
  • Respite Care: respite care is short-term in-patient care. This is provided to the patient when necessary to relive the family members or other persons caring for the patient at home.
  • In-patient Care: short-term-in-patient care is covered for procedures necessary for pain control and to stabilize acute or chronic symptoms.
  • Continuous Home Care: care for a period of 8 or more hours in a day during a period of crisis, and only necessary to maintain the patient at home. It consists mainly of nursing care. But may also include homemaker services, aide services, and other disciplines.