Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy


(What you need to know about required services)

There are 4 levels of care which are "Required Services":

  1. Routine Home Care

  2. Continuous Nursing Care at Home

  3. InPatient Level of Care in a Facility

  4. Respite Care

Each level of care must be provided if the patient and family's needs require it. If, for example, the family is exhausted after providing care to the patient, the hospice must provide "respite care," up to 5 days at a time, to relieve the family and give them a break in order to rest. If the patient is not having uncontrolled symptoms at home, then the patient is placed on "routine home care" services. If the symptoms go out of control, then the hospice must provide "continuous nursing care" in home. If the patient has symptoms out of control and is already residing in a hospice facility, then the patient is placed on "inpatient care."

The hospice must inform you about all these levels of care when you are considering "admission" to the hospice's services and then sign the "informed consent" form. If the hospice's "informed consent" form does not list the levels of care, think carefully about whether or not you wish to use that hospice's services!! A hospice that clearly list the four levels of care is more likely to provide the required services, especially if you request the service and remind them that "it's right here in writing."

If you have questions about hospice, we hope that you will take the time to visit the hundreds of pages at our website, read our Guide to Hospice Care, visit our resources and links section (with hundreds of vital resources listed) .

Hospice Patients Alliance affirms that all human life is inherently valuable and that the role of hospice nurses, physicians and all other staff is to alleviate suffering and provide comfort for the sick and dying without sanctioning or assisting their suicide. A death with dignity allows for a natural death in its own time, while doing everything possible to assure relief from distressing symptoms. Hospice Patients Alliance works hard to promote quality hospice care throughout the USA. If you would like to support our mission, we hope you wille consider supporting our mission through a donation. Hospice Patients Alliance is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit corporation and your donations are deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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