There are four levels of hospice care, defined by Medicare, which are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and most other insurance plans. They allow Hospice of West Alabama (HOWA) to keep the patient in the setting that best meets the needs of the patient. Some or all of these care options may be used during a patient’s hospice care.
The HOWA staff determines which level of care is needed, and all types of care must be approved by the hospice and their physician before the patient may use them. Not all patients use all levels of care, yet all are available if they are needed.
The patient continues to live at home (single family residence, nursing home, assisted living facility, or wherever the patient calls home) and receive hospice services there. The family and patient are able to handle the needs and care of the patient with assistance from the hospice team.
This care is provided in our inpatient facility at the Helen H. Hahn House for symptoms or crises that cannot be managed in the patient’s home. This level of care is provided for a limited period of time, as determined by the physician and hospice.
Skilled nursing services are provided in the patient’s home to help manage a patient’s temporary physical crisis.
This service is also provided in the inpatient facility and is designed to give caregivers a rest from handling the care of the patient. Respite care is limited to five days and nights at a time. This service is often used to provide a break so that caregivers can participate in other family activities, such as holiday celebrations, or just to relieve a tired caregiver for a few days.