Standards for Medical Respite Care Programs

Introducing the 2021 Standards for Medical Respite Programs

The National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC) and the Respite Care Providers Network (RCPN)
are excited to announce the 2021 publication of the Standards for Medical Respite Care
Programs (the Standards). The Standards are a guiding framework to help medical respite
care programs operate safely, effectively, and seamlessly with local health care systems, and to promote
program development and growth.

The original Standards were developed in 2016 to establish core practices that:

  1. align with other health industry standards related to patient care,
  2. reflect the needs of the patients being served in the medical respite care setting,
  3. promote quality care and improved health, and
  4. are achievable for a range of medical respite programs with varying degrees of resources.

A workgroup of the RCPN has convened again this year in 2021 to update the Standards to reflect
growth, changes, and newly established evidence to guide best practices in medical respite care. As
a result of this workgroup, the updated Standards were developed and include the following:

The new Standards developed in 2021:

  1. Medical respite program provides safe and quality accommodations.
  2. Medical respite program provides quality environmental services.
  3. Medical respite program manages timely and safe care transitions to medical respite from acute care, specialty care, and/or community settings.
  4. Medical respite program administers high quality post-acute clinical care.
  5. Medical respite program assists in health care coordination, provides wraparound services, and facilitates access to comprehensive support services.
  6. Medical respite program facilitates safe and appropriate care transitions out of medical respite care.
  7. Medical respite care personnel are equipped to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
  8. Medical respite care is driven by quality improvement.


Contact Julia Dobbins for technical assistance on the standards.