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
- Respects the goals, likes, and choices of a dying person
- Looks after the medical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the dying person
- Supports the needs of the family members
- Helps gain access to needed health care providers and appropriate care settings
- 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.