Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is home health care?

Home health care includes treatment or assistance to a recovering, chronically ill or disabled person in the home. Home health care service can be short- or long-term. The service covers a wide range of services, from high-tech nursing care to companion or sitter care.

Home health services are given on physician's orders and last for about a hour or less.

2. What are the services offered under home health care program?

Home health program includes:
skilled nursing care, including clinical specialties like infusion therapy or wound care
rehabilitation therapy like physical, occupational and speech therapy
administering intravenous medication and medical equipment
personal care, such as bathing, which is to be administered by home health aides
private duty nursing
nutrition services that include assessments and education

3. When does someone need home health care?

Many people want to be cared for in the comforts of their home. In more ways than one, home health care is more cost-efficient than hospital care, and may be more Home care i There are many good reasons for wanting an ill or recuperating loved one to be cared for at home. Home care is a humane and compassionate way to deliver health care, because it enables patients to enjoy the comfort, privacy and convenience of home. Home care is a cost-effective alternative to institutional care.

Some typical cases in which home health care may be appropriate for patients:

A patient has been discharged from the hospital but is not fully recovered or has a condition that needs monitoring (e.g. surgery, heart attack, stroke).
A person has a chronic condition and requires care until he/she has stabilized (e.g. heart/lung disease, diabetes).
An infant born prematurely goes home but requires monitoring.
An accident victim suffers fractures and needs therapy.
Someone recently diagnosed with a disease needs education about the illness and help coping with it (e.g. high blood pressure).
After delivering a baby, a woman needs follow-up care/support at home.
A family is caring for an elderly, disabled or sick family member and needs education or additional support.
A person is being hospitalized repeatedly or is experiencing prolonged hospital stays.
Someone is in the final stages of an incurable disease.

4. If I have a nurse coming to my home, will she give me a bath?

Nurses provide skilled care; home health aides provide personal care services which include baths. Medicare coverage includes personal care such as baths, but there must be a need for skilled service (a nurse, physical therapist or speech therapist) for the services of a home health aide to be covered. Private insurance policies vary in coverage for personal care services. Bath services are available as a private pay option.

5. What is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance for people who are: 65 years or older, under age 65 but have certain disabilities, and anyone who has permanent kidney failure and requires dialysis/kidney transplant or someone who has Lou Gehrig's disease.
Medicare has four components: Part A is hospital insurance, Part B is medical insurance, Part C is Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D is Prescription Drug Coverage.

Medicare has:

Part A Hospital Insurance - Most people don't pay a premium for Part A because they or a spouse already paid for it through their payroll taxes while working. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care. Beneficiaries must meet certain conditions to get these benefits.
Part B Medical Insurance - Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover doctors' services and outpatient care. It also covers some other medical services that Part A doesn't cover, such as some of the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.
Prescription Drug Coverage - Most people will pay a monthly premium for this coverage. Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare. Everyone with Medicare can get this coverage that may help lower prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage is insurance. Private companies provide the coverage. Beneficiaries choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like other insurance, if a beneficiary decides not to enroll in a drug plan when they are first eligible, they may pay a penalty if they choose to join later.

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