As of January 2021, there were 62 million recorded Medicare beneficiaries across the country. With the rise of healthcare crises in 2020, this number had increased significantly from previous years.

Medicare is a federal program that aids people who are 65 and older by covering medical treatment that they couldn’t otherwise afford. In a time of healthcare crises, Medicare is even more pertinent.

While Medicare does provide long-term coverage, it also offers immediate aid for individuals with terminally ill conditions and severe medical crises. This is a specific type of Medicare benefit called Continuous Home Care.

What is Continuous Home Care?

Young carer supporting senior disabled woman with walking stick.Continuous Home Care (CHC) is a care service for individuals in a medical crisis and terminally ill conditions. The patient’s doctor or hospice physician must verify this condition for patients to qualify for Continuous Home Care.

This type of care is one of the four benefits included in the Medicare Hospice Benefit. The other three levels include Routine Home Care (RHC), General Inpatient Care (GIC), and Inpatient Respite Care (IRC).

Continuous Home Care can be provided to patients in their residence. Or it can be provided in an Assisted Living Facility like a nursing home, where patients receive inpatient services.

Hospice providers evaluate your condition and determine whether inpatient services or in-home care are necessary.

The patient’s loved ones can also play an essential role in Continuous Home Care. A family member can be the primary caregivers while the hospice provider offers support and additional services.

What Does Medicare Cover?

When you receive continuous home care, you’re entitled to palliative care for a minimum of 8 hours each day. This type of care does not include significant medical attention to mitigate or cure conditions.

Instead, palliative care manages systems and pain relief to make individuals more comfortable in a medical crisis. The benefits covered by Medicare include:

Happy patient is holding caregiver for a hand while spending time togetherHomemaker / IADL services

Medication and equipment to manage pain and symptoms

Nursing services

Medical services

Social services

Spiritual and grief counseling

If your hospice provider offers other services, you may be entitled to these services under Medicare coverage as well.

Outside of your hospice care, Medicare will still cover any benefits from services you receive that aren’t related to your medical crisis. If you had Original Medicare before receiving hospice care, those benefits would still be covered.

Here’s What Medicare Does Not Cover

Smiling nurse helping senior lady to walk around the nursing homeMedicare covers continuous home care, so there are no immediate expenses you need to pay.

However, you may be responsible for co-payments on some outpatient prescription drugs to manage pain and acute symptoms. These co-payments won’t exceed $5 for each prescription.

If you receive Respite Care, you may be responsible for 5% of this particular service’s cost.

You may also be responsible for any room and board expenses if continuous home care is provided to you in a facility.

Continuous Home Care Hospice Providers

Continuous Home Care can provide relief to patients and their families in a time of medical crisis.

At Cardinal Hospice, we’re committed to helping patients get the aid and medical assistance they need.

For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch or check out our list of services.