Home Health FAQ

Home Health FAQs

What is home health care?

Home health care are medical services for those individuals who are home bound or rarely leave their home.

Is home health care the same as hospice?

No. Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Hospice is for the terminally ill.

What are the benefits of home health care?

Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

What is the goal of home health care?

The goal is to keep you out of the hospital. A good health care program will rehabilitate and help you back to full health. You want a home health care agency to do everything they can to keep you out of the hospital and living in the comfort of your own home and with loved ones nearby.

What services could be provided?

  • Medical
  • Social Worker
  • Skilled Nursing Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Certified Nurse’s Assistant
  • Patient Education
  • Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound
  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Medication Education
  • Diabetic Management
  • Pain Management
  • Injections
  • Intravenous or nutrition therapy
  • Personal care: bathing, eating, etc.
  • Monitoring serious illness and unstable health status

Who determines if I qualify for home health care?

You, your medical team, your insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid). If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy or other health insurance coverage, tell your doctor or other health care provider so your bills get paid correctly.

How do I choose a health care agency?

If your doctor or referring health care provider decides you need home health care, they should give you a list of agencies that serve your area, but must tell you whether their organization has a financial interest in any agency listed.

How do I judge the quality of a home health care agency?

The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.

How do I start home health care?

Doctor’s orders are needed to start care. Once your doctor refers you for home health services, the home health agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to talk to you about your needs and ask you some questions about your health.

The home health agency staff will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep your doctor updated about your progress.

What should you expect from home health care?

It’s important that home health staff see you as often as the doctor ordered. The doctor may order the home health care agency to:

  • Check what you’re eating and drinking.
  • Check your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing.
  • Check that you’re taking your prescription and other drugs and any treatments correctly.
  • Ask if you’re having pain.
  • Check your safety in the home.
  • Teach you about your care so you can take care of yourself.
  • Coordinate your care.
  • Communicate regularly with you, your doctor, and anyone else who gives you care.

When does home health care end?

There are two reasons home health services could stop. One, the patient’s condition worsens and needs to be admitted into a facility for more extensive care. Two, the patient’s condition improves so they are capable of taking care of themselves.

Does Medicare, Medicaid or private pay for home health care?

Yes. Most of the time home health care is covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. If you get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare health plan, check with your plan to find out how it gives your Medicare-covered home health benefits.

[Much of the information under the Home Health section was taken from the USA government website: http://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/home-health-care/home-health-care-what-is-it-what-to-expect.html]