Order and LevelsHospice care implies four different levels or orders. Every level is based on the individual needs of a patient. The hospice care appeared in the US with the aim of providing terminally ill patients with the comprehensive services that will make the end of life more comfortable and in an environment that the individual prefers for it to happen. In many cases, patients choose to have been given the hospice care they need at home, but it may also be provided in a family member’s home, or in a nursing facility.
One of the first levels of hospice care is the routine home care. This is the basic level of hospice care provided under the hospice benefit in the United States. It may be referred to as routine nursing home care in the cases in which it is offered to patients who live in a nursing home. Routine home care includes nursing services meaning that a nurse will visit 1 to 3 times a week depending on patient’s needs, physician participation, medical social services, counseling services, medications, medical supplies, lab and diagnostic studies related to terminal diseases and therapy services including physical, occupational and speech if needed.
The continuous home care level is usually applied in cases in which patients develop physical or emotional symptoms that cannot be relieved with routine care. Continuous home care implies a more intense care facility in the patient’s home environment. General inpatient care is the third hospice care level and it is provided in a facility in which patients can receive an intense treatment and support for patients for whom coping with the symptoms at home is impossible. Finally, respite care is a type of care designed more for the family than for the patient. The patient would be admitted to an inpatient facility to give the family a break moment.