(a) Periods of crisis. Nursing care may be covered on a continuous basis for as much as 24 hours a day during periods of crisis as necessary to maintain an individual at home. Either homemaker or home health aide (also known as hospice aide) services or both may be covered on a 24-hour continuous basis during periods of crisis but care during these periods must be predominantly nursing care. A period of crisis is a period in which the individual requires continuous care to achieve palliation and management of acute medical symptoms.
(b) Respite care.
(1) Respite care is short-term inpatient care provided to the individual only when necessary to relieve the family members or other persons caring for the individual.
(2) Respite care may be provided only on an occasional basis and may not be reimbursed for more than five consecutive days at a time.
(c) Bereavement counseling. Bereavement counseling is a required hospice service but it is not reimbursable.
(d) Use of technology in furnishing services during a Public Health Emergency. When a patient is receiving routine home care, during a Public Health Emergency as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, hospices may provide services via a telecommunications system if it is feasible and appropriate to do so to ensure that Medicare patients can continue receiving services that are reasonable and necessary for the palliation and management of a patients' terminal illness and related conditions. The use of such technology in furnishing services must be included on the plan of care, meet the requirements at § 418.56, and must be tied to the patient-specific needs as identified in the comprehensive assessment and the plan of care must include a description of how the use of such technology will help to achieve the goals outlined on the plan of care.