Who Qualifies for Hospice Care?
A patient who has a life-limiting condition and is no longer responding to treatment qualifies for hospice. Amara Hospice offers four levels of hospice care: Routine, Respite, General Inpatient, and Continuous Home Care. An Amara Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) evaluates each patient to determine the level of care that best suits the patient’s needs. Patients may be transferred between levels of care.
Amara Hospice provides Routine Care in the patient’s home, an assisted living facility, nursing home or convalescence home. Depending on the illness, hospice care could be provided over weeks, months or longer. As part of the individual plan of care, Amara Hospice team members make regular house calls to provide services to the patient. Patient assessments are conducted and periodically reviewed by a specialized team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals to update the patient’s Individual Treatment or Care Plan.
Amara’s Inpatient Hospice facility can provide Respite Care. Respite Care is short-term inpatient care at a facility equipped and staffed to provide nursing and support services to hospice patients. Respite Care is available to relieve the family or primary caregivers of direct patient care so they can attend to their own needs.Currently, Medicare Hospice Benefits limits Respite Care to five consecutive days.
General Inpatient Hospice Care
When a hospice patient’s needs become acute and complex, requiring intensive nursing and medical support 24 hours a day, General Inpatient Hospice Care may be authorized. Provided in an acute care hospital or a setting like Amara Inpatient Hospice, this level of care is triggered by:
- Uncontrolled distressing physical symptoms (e.g. uncontrolled pain, intractable nausea, respiratory distress, severe wounds, and other symptoms)
- Psychosocial problems (e.g. unsafe home environment or imminent death where the family can no longer provide care at home)
Continuous Home Care
This hospice level supports the patient and caregivers through brief periods of crisis. Continuous Care is provided 8 to 24 hours a day. Home Health Aids and Homemaker Services, or both, may be used to cover the care needs. An RN or LVN must provide more than 50 percent of the care. Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, patients may be admitted into a hospice program at any level of care as determined by their individual needs and the patient may transfer between the levels of care as needed.There may be limitations or specifications for the different levels of care.