Medicare recognizes four levels of care that hospice can utilize to meet the needs of patients and their families: routine, respite, general inpatient, and continuous time care. Examples of each level of care can be found below.
- Routine: a level of care provided by hospice in any location that a patient considers as home
- Respite: a level of care provided by hospice meant to provide a break for the patient’s caregiver; hospice provides a home patient with a five-day respite stay in a contracted nursing home of their choice for caregiver relief
- General Inpatient: a level of care provided by hospice in which a patient is placed in a skilled nursing facility or hospital for pain control or symptom management that cannot be controlled in any other setting
- Continuous Time Care: a level of care provided by hospice in which a patient receives around the clock care in the home setting to resolve a pain or symptom crisis