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The Four Levels of Hospice Care That Medicare Covers

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Medicare benefits cover four levels of hospice care: routine home care, continuous home care, general inpatient care and respite care. Hospice coverage from private insurance plans typically match the levels of care defined by Medicare.

Every person and every family has unique needs for end-of-life care. Patients and their families may move in and out of each level of hospice service as their needs change.

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Compassus provides hospice care to Medicare beneficiaries and accepts both hospice Medicare coverage as well as private insurance hospice plans. We are here to provide compassionate hospice care and support for all who need it. Find a location near you today or contact our team at 833.380.9583 to learn more.

Understanding the Four Levels of Hospice Care That Medicare Covers

Routine Hospice Care at home

Routine home care is for patients wanting to maintain the best possible quality of life at home. Routine care is provided in a person’s private home, assisted living residence, or nursing home. Support includes:

  • Home medical equipment
  • Medications
  • Medical social services
  • Spiritual support
  • Volunteer visits
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Supplies related to the hospice diagnosis

Respite Care

Hospice respite care enables a patient’s caregiver to rest and recover from the demands of in-home care. Respite is also available when caregivers are traveling or attending an import event such a wedding or graduation.

Medicare pays for patient transport and up to five consecutive days of inpatient care at a Medicare-approved nursing facility or hospital. Respite care is not available when a hospice patient is living in a nursing facility.

Continuous Home Care

Sometimes, hospice patients need care at home when they experiencing a medical crisis. Medicare defines a crisis as a period of time when a patient requires a higher level of continuous care for at least eight hours in a day to manage pain, relieve breathing problems, or provide care for other serious medical symptoms.

The goal is intensive support to enable patients and their families to return to stable and routine home care. This in-home care is typically provided by licensed nurses in close communication with a doctor and family members. A hospice aide or homemaking services can supplement nursing care.

General Inpatient Care

If a patient has medical needs that cannot be managed at home, the hospice benefit includes round-the-clock care at a hospital or inpatient hospice facility. Patients can remain as long as required to control their symptoms. Medicare also covers the cost of transporting patients.

Paying for Hospice with Medicare

How do you know if hospice is covered by Medicare? Generally, hospice care is 100 percent covered when it’s provided to those enrolled in Medicare Part A. Patients may still be responsible for copayments or coinsurance fees and hospice medications depending on individual plans. Medicare Part B may cover hospice services such as hospice care provided in a nursing facility or hospice respite care when it is used for more than five consecutive days.

It’s important to speak with a hospice care specialist to determine the specifics of hospice Medicare coverage and what hospice services are covered by this program.

Contact Compassus to Learn More

With 200 locations across 30 states, Compassus hospice care professionals are here to answer questions and help you understand hospice care options. Navigating hospice Medicare coverage can be complex, so it’s important to have the support of hospice care professionals.

Whether you’re looking for hospice care locations in your area or need help understanding hospice coverage, our team is here to support you and your loved one every step of the way. Reach out to us at 833.380.9583 today to learn more about hospice Medicare coverage.