WHAT IS HOME HEALTH?
Home Health is comprised of medical care, personalized assistance and/or therapy services provided to patients who are unable to receive the same services outside of their home due to temporary or chronic physical limitations.
Many insurance providers, including Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage providers, cover 100% of Home Health services without any co-payments, making it an ideal choice for many patients to receive cost-effective treatment from the comfort and safety of their own home.
HOME HEALTH SERVICES
Nursing Services: Home Health Nurses are skilled at monitoring and caring for patient’s medical needs (e.g. vital signs, medication & pain management, diagnosis specific education and specialty tasks such as wound care). Nurses serve as liaisons between you and your physician, keeping them apprised of your care and progress.
Physical Therapy (PT): PT helps to address a number of physical impairments, including decreased strength, range-of-motion, balance, pain, and mobility (e.g. standing, walking, climbing stairs, and acquiring/training in use of an assistive device). Many patients receiving Home Health will have PT as part of their program, because difficulty leaving home is often related to an area that can be addressed through a Therapist’s or Assistant’s skills.
Occupational Therapy (OT): Despite the popular misconception, OT is not to help you find a job. Instead, Occupational Therapists and their Assistants are experts at improving performance with Activities of Daily Living (i.e. the tasks that “occupy” a person’s day). For example, OT can assist a patient in improving physical performance (or adapting skills) related to dressing, bathing, meal preparation, eating and a number of other activities. An Occupational Therapist can also perform a Home Evaluation and make recommendations to improve safety and independence, acquire adaptive equipment and train family/caregivers in care.
Speech & Language Therapy (ST): Speech Therapists (a.k.a. SLP's) are communication experts, a field that not only entails speech, but comprehension and cognitive tasks as well. SLP's often help patients with memory or other cognitive issues to be safer and more independent at home. They are also experts at swallowing and play a vital role in assuring safety of patients who have difficulty or safety concerns with eating/drinking
Social Workers: Home Health Social Workers are compassionate and capable individuals who can assess a patients’ family/social needs and help them to access available resources for which they may be eligible; including, but not limited to, financial assistance, government health insurance, respite care, housing, food, counseling, and placement in an Assisted Living Facility or Hospice program.
Home Health Aides/Certified Nursing Assistants: Home Health Aids provide valuable assistance with components of a patient’s Plan of Care which do not require the skills of a Nurse or Therapist. An Aide’s responsibilities may include helping a patient to bathe, dress and groom; performing light housework; preparing/serving light meals; supporting a Home Exercise Program; and monitoring and alerting the Nurse of a patient’s condition.
Additional Services Covered by Some Insurers
Daily Diabetic Care
WHERE TO START
Any Medical Doctor can sign an order for Home Health. However, certain criteria must be met in order for the patient to be eligible to receive services. The most important of these requirements, is that the patient meet "Homebound Status." This doesn't mean that the patient is not able to leave their home, but that they must be dependent on another person to do so and/or leaving the home requires a considerable and taxing effort. Medicare and many private insurances permit absences from the home for medical appointments, and for brief absences for certain unique non-medical purposes (e.g. religious services, funerals, graduations and the occasional family reunion). Once a patient is able to return to more regular activity outside of the home, they should also be prepared to receive any still existent medical/therapy servive needs in the community as well
Besides being necessary for many people, Home Health services are advanageous to patients because Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans still cover care at 100% for eligible candidates, without any co-pay.
If you think that you might be in need of Home Health Therapy services now or in the near future, contact your Primary Care or Specialist Physician to start a conversation, or visit our "Find an Agency" page and call one of our member agencies with any questions that you might have.
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Home Health Directory and
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