Continuous Care for terminally-ill patients is one of four types of hospice care covered by Medicare Hospice Benefit. This round-the-clock level of care is provided in the home for brief periods of time when the patient is experiencing a crisis. It is designed to honor a patient’s wish to remain at home by providing the care needed to control the patient’s symptoms and alleviate the crisis.
When is hospice continuous care appropriate?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations state: “Continuous home care may only be provided during a period of crisis as necessary to maintain an individual at home. A period of crisis is a period in which a patient requires continuous care that is predominantly nursing care to achieve palliation or management of acute medical symptoms.”
This type of care may be provided in the patient’s home or long-term care facility. It is not applicable for patients in an in-patient hospice unit, hospital, or skilled nursing facility.
Hospice continuous care is designed to quickly alleviate uncontrolled symptoms in a time of crisis. These symptoms might include:
- Severe pain
- Acute respiratory distress
- Unrelenting nausea and vomiting
- Terminal agitation or restlessness
If a hospice patient is actively declining, but their symptoms are under control, they do not qualify for hospice care under CMS regulations.
EvenMore Care: Honoring patient wishes.
As the patient reaches their final hours, Salute Hospice activates its EvenMore Care program, providing round-the-clock care. This unique hospice care program was created because of a belief in two of Salute Hospice’s driving principles of end-of-life care:
- No one should die alone.
- No one should die in pain.
Even when the patient’s symptoms are well-managed, Salute Hospice is there to provide support to the patient and their family in this final transition.
Please call Salute Hospice at 818-638-8522 to learn more about the stages of hospice care and the support we provide.
Extending the Promise of Hospice Care Even More
Approaching the Hospice Conversation: Best Practices for Physicians
Hospice is Care for the Whole Family
If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.