Levels of Hospice Care
Four types of hospice care to meet a patient’s needs
Unity Hospice recognizes that hospice care does not fit into a one-size-fits-all care plan. Medicare acknowledges there are different intensities to the type of care patients require while on hospice, so the Medicare Hospice Benefit affords four levels of clinical care for patients on hospice. And while hospice patients may be admitted at any level of care, they are able to move between the four clinical care levels as their care needs may shift. These levels are:
Routine Hospice Care (RHC)
This is the most common level of hospice care. With this type of care, a patient has elected to receive hospice care where they call home.
General Inpatient Care (GIP)
If the pain control or other acute symptom management cannot feasibly be provided in any other setting, a patient may be transferred to or treated in a Medicare-certified hospital or nursing facility that has a registered nurse available 24 hours a day to provide direct patient care. GIP begins when other efforts to manage symptoms are not sufficient.
Continuous Home Care (CHC)
When it is necessary to help a terminally ill patient where they call home during a pain or symptom crisis, Continuous Home Care may be provided. CHC services care will be provided for between 8 and 24 hours a day to manage pain and other acute medical symptoms. CHC services must be predominately nursing care, supplemented with caregiver and hospice aide services and are intended to maintain the terminally ill patient at home during a pain or symptom crisis.
Inpatient Respite Care (IRC)
There may be times a patient’s primary caregiver needs temporary relief. Caring for a loved one is a lot of responsibility and can add stress to the caregiver’s life. For up to five consecutive days, a caregiver may be able to rest and recharge as the patient is moved temporarily to a Medicare-approved hospital, or a long-term care facility that has sufficient 24-hour nursing personnel present. This option may also be exercised if the caregiver has an event to attend, such as a wedding.