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Utah Home Health Care

What Type of Home Health Care Do I Need?

By February 6, 2023July 11th, 2023No Comments
Utah Home Health | Active Home Health

Is home health care right for my loved one?

Are you a child or family member trying to navigate at-home care for the first time for your aging parent or loved one? If so, it’s common for a few frequently used terms to cause some confusion. For example, “home care” and “home health care” may seem interchangeable at first. However, these actually refer to two very different services.

For many families, “home health care” is first brought up by your loved one’s physician. This discussion may then lead you down a Google rabbit hole as you try to better understand how you can help. If that’s where you are at the moment, this article is for you. Understanding exactly what is — and isn’t — included in home health care will help you feel more confident in your search for “home health care near me” and as you review possible providers.

So, if you’re wondering what home health care is, and whether it’s right for your loved one, keep reading. Below, we explain what services are included and what to expect when it comes to Medicare coverage.

What is home health care?

Home health care is a variety of services offered by skilled health care professionals within a patient’s home environment. For some patients, this may be a private residence, but for others, this may be an assisted living center or senior community.

On the other hand, home care, also called personal care, is a variety of services that support a senior’s ability to live independently yet are not designated as “skilled” healthcare services. For example, personal care can include meal delivery or companionship — two important needs a senior has, yet not ones that require advanced medical knowledge, training, or certification to provide.

Do I need Home Health Care | Active Home Health Care

Does Medicare pay for home health care?

Yes. Medicare often covers the cost of home health care, with some exceptions. See below for more details about situations when Medicare will, and will not, cover the cost of home health care.

What types of care are included?

Many services are available under the umbrella of home health care to help meet every patient’s varying health needs. Below is a list of the most common services you’ll find included as part of home health care:

  • Regular, part-time skilled nursing care
  • Physical, speech, or occupational therapy
  • Medication administration (for certain medications)
  • Wound care
  • Palliative care or symptom management
  • Part-time home health aide support (typically offered only if the patient is also receiving skilled nursing or therapy services)

When does Medicare cover home health care? outlines its policies for home health coverage. It states that all people with Medicare Part A and/or Part B who meet the following three conditions are covered:

  1. Home health care must be under the order of a doctor, and your doctor must create and regularly review your care plan.
  2. A doctor must certify that you need one or more of these:
    • Part-time skilled nursing care
    • Part-time physical, speech, or occupational therapy
        • Medicare states that to be eligible for at-home therapy as part of home health care, the following must apply:
          1. Your condition must be expected to improve in a reasonable and generally predictable period of time
          2. You need a skilled therapist to safely and effectively make a maintenance program for your condition
          3. You need a skilled therapist to safely and effectively do maintenance therapy for your condition
  3. A doctor must certify that you’re homebound. Those who are “homebound” may still leave home for medical treatments or religious services (if they are “short and infrequent).

Home health benefits do not extend to those who need more than part-time skilled medical care (for example, 24-hour at-home care is not covered). In addition, Medicare will not cover:

  • Meal delivery service
  • Home care services such as errand-running, laundry, or cooking
  • Personal care services supporting daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, or companionship — if offered without accompanying home health care services.

How long will Medicare pay for home health care?

Medicare will continue paying for home health care services as long as a patient remains eligible — that is, they continue to meet the requirements listed above. While some patients qualify for home health care for just a few weeks (following a hospital stay or injury), others may continue to qualify for months or years, depending on their unique health needs. In these cases, a person must recertify every 60 days to ensure their condition hasn’t changed.

What type of home health care does my loved one need? | Active Home Health

How do I arrange home health care for my parent or loved one?

In Utah, home health care is provided by companies that specialize in both this service and, frequently, hospice care. If you’re searching for home health care in Utah, and want the peace of mind that you’re choosing the most reputable and trusted provider, look to Active Home Health, Hospice, and Personal Care.

Our home health care team includes a team of licensed professionals who work closely with your loved one’s physician to meet their health goals. Our team includes skilled nurses; physical, speech, and occupational therapists; and other experienced medical professionals. From improved mobility or wound care to rehabilitation following surgery, our team meets patients where they are and develops a detailed care plan. Whether your loved one needs to regain strength, manage a chronic condition, or ease pain and discomfort, our team can help. For more information about our home health care services, please give us a call or connect with us online.

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