Home healthcare is often confused with private duty homecare. However, while home healthcare may include some home care services, it is medical in nature. Home healthcare professionals are often licensed nurses, therapists, or home health aides, most of whom work for home health agencies who are licensed by the state and certified by Medicare.
What is home healthcare?
Home healthcare is medical care provided in a client’s home. It can include broad care given by skilled medical professionals including:
⦁ Skilled Nurses
⦁ Physical Therapists
⦁ Occupational Therapists
⦁ Speech Language Pathologists
⦁ Medical Social Workers
⦁ Home Health Aides
⦁ Certified Dietitians
When a client is prescribed home healthcare, the home healthcare team will work closely with the prescribing physician to develop and follow a plan of care created uniquely for that client.
When is home healthcare needed?
When a client is recovering from a serious illness, injury, or surgery, been newly diagnosed with a chronic disease like heart failure, respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease or are having complex medical treatments requiring the use of medical equipment and/or medication monitoring, their physician may prescribe home healthcare.
Is home healthcare covered under Medicare?
If care is medically necessary, ordered by their doctor and meets the coverage requirements, Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans will usually pay for home health services. If the client is an eligible Medicare beneficiary, Medicare will cover 100% of home health care costs, if they qualify. To be covered under Medicare the client must be homebound (leaving the home takes a considerable and taxing effort), have had a recent illness, injury or worsening medical condition that requires skilled nursing, physical therapy, or occupational therapy for a continuing need. The care must be on an intermittent basis (limited basis) and be prescribed by a physician.
What are some indicators that a client may require the attention of home healthcare professionals?
⦁ Needs help to walk
⦁ Shuffles when walking
⦁ Needs help to transfer
⦁ Loses balance
⦁ Knees buckle
⦁ Frequent falls
⦁ Needs help using a wheelchair
⦁ Does not sit well in a wheelchair
⦁ Is not safe alone in a room
⦁ Is confused
⦁ Is losing weight
⦁ Is not finishing meals
⦁ Is drooling or coughing while eating
⦁ Has problems using utensils
⦁ Has problems bathing
⦁ Has coordination / balance issues
⦁ Complains of pain
⦁ Difficulty with medication management
When choosing a home healthcare provider, clients should be sure the provider is Medicare certified and licensed by the state in which the client will receive the services.
Inspired HomeCare agencies are state licensed, Medicare certified, and also certified by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) to ensure standards that result in a higher level of performance and a greater focus on patient care. Visit us online at www.inspiredhomecare.net.