June 7, 2022
Facts About Home Health Care Services
Home health care refers to a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. This health care option is often less costly, more convenient, and just as effective and high in quality as care you receive in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Home health care is one of the most valuable services for those who have Medicare benefits.
What’s Included in Home Health Care?
Skilled home health services may include:
- Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound
- Patient and caregiver education
- Intravenous or nutrition therapy
- Monitoring of serious illnesses and unstable health status
What’s the Goal of Home Health Care?
In general, the goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care can help you:
- Heal and get better
- Regain your independence
- Become as self-sufficient as possible
- Maintain your current condition or level of function
- Slow the decline of your health or illness
If you receive Medicare benefits through a Medicare health plan, check with your plan to determine how it gives your Medicare-covered home health benefits.
If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy or another form of health insurance coverage, tell your doctor or other health care provider so your bills can get paid correctly.
Doctors and referring health care providers should provide you with a list of agencies that service your area if they determine that you need home health care. They must tell you whether their organization has a financial interest in any agency listed.
What Should I Expect from My Home Health Care?
Doctor’s orders are required to start home health care. After 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 questions about your health.
The home health agency staff will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep them updated about your progress. Home health staff must see you as often as your doctor has ordered.
Services your home health staff should provide include:
- Staying on top of what you’re eating and drinking.
- Checking your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing.
- Confirming that you’re taking your prescription medications and administering any other treatments correctly.
- Asking whether you’re experiencing any pain.
- Checking your safety in the home.
- Teaching you about self-care so you can take care of yourself.
- Coordinating your care, meaning they must communicate regularly with you, your doctor, and anyone else who provides care.