Part 2 of the Home Health Series

What Kind of Services are provided by Home Health Care?

Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses provide skilled services that cannot be performed safely and effectively by a non-professional. These services include but are not limited to:

  • wound care
  • education on disease symptom identification
  • prevention and management
  • blood sugar monitoring
  • compliance with medication

Physical therapists work to restore the mobility and strength of patients who are limited or disabled by physical injuries. They also teach patient and caregivers special techniques for walking and transfer.

Social workers evaluate the social and emotional factors affecting the disabled individual and provide counseling. They also help to identify available community resources.

Speech language pathologists work to develop and restore the speech of individuals with communication disorders and also help retrain patients in swallowing and muscle control.

Occupational therapists help patients who have physical, developmental, social or emotional problems that prevent them from performing general activities of daily living.

Home health aides assist patients with ADL’s such as getting out of bed, walking, bathing, toileting, and dressing.

Who pays for Home Care Services?

Home care services can be paid for directly by the patient or through various public and private sources. Third-party payers include Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, and the Veterans Administration and some community organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

Medicare– is a federal program that will pay for home care services if the patient is eligible to receive benefits under Medicare. The following four conditions must be met:

  1. The patient must be under a physician’s care who will develop a plan of care
  2. A physician  must determine that the services are medically necessary and intermittent (not full time)
  3. The patient must be homebound, which means that it requires considerable taxing effort for the patient to leave their home. Absences from home must be infrequent or of short duration, or to get medical care
  4. The home health agency must be Medicare-Certified.