Home health care is a more comfortable and personalized alternative to medical treatment in hospitals and nursing facilities. Health care at home can include a broad range of medical services administered in the luxury of the patient’s home.
Services may include wound care, nutrition therapy, physical therapy, injections, monitoring illness, assistance with daily tasks, and much more. In this article, we’ll discuss the process of getting started with home healthcare services.
How does home health care differ from other forms of care, such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities?
You’ve probably noticed many options when researching medical care for yourself or a loved one. Nursing homes, living care facilities, and home health care services are some of the most common. While each service provides care for elderly or disabled patients, they differ in many ways.
Nursing homes are for people who don’t necessarily need the level of care that a hospital provides but still need assistance with tasks and milder forms of treatment. Patients in nursing homes require a higher level of care and monitoring than patients who can receive home health services. Assisted living facilities provide patients with a personalized level of care in a residential setting.
The Process of Beginning Home Health Care
Before beginning home health care, you must complete several steps. These steps will allow you to ensure that you’re receiving the appropriate services from the company that’s right for you.
Begin with a Referral From a Physician
To receive home health services, you must obtain a referral from a physician. Before writing a referral, the physician will determine your health status and determine if you are eligible for services. To qualify for assistance, a physician will consider the following:
- If you’ve had a recent diagnosis or worsening condition
- If you need ongoing skilled nursing and physical, speech, or occupational therapy
- If you need the help of a device to leave your home, whether it is another person, a cane, walker, or wheelchair
- If it takes a significant amount of effort to leave your home
Once you receive a referral from a physician, you’ll be well on your way to receiving home health care services.
Research Home Health Agencies
There are many home health agencies to choose from, so it’s essential to do some research before picking one. To help narrow your search, determine which healthcare companies offer your needed services in your location.
Read online reviews, and ask family and friends which ones they have used and would recommend. Receiving suggestions from family and friends can go a long way toward finding one that suits you best.
Verify with Insurance
Once you have an agency and care plan, contact your insurance company to determine what they will cover. In many cases, home health care is covered by a combination of insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. The home health care provider will also help you with this step, as they are familiar with coverage and how to maximize your insurance plan and government assistance.
Contact the Agency to Schedule an Assessment
If you’ve settled on an agency, the next step is to schedule an assessment. The agency you’ve chosen will generally call to set up an in-home assessment within 24 hours of receiving the referral from your doctor. This assessment is done in the comfort of your home and is an essential step toward receiving services. The evaluation is necessary to determine what specific services you will need, including health, physical, and emotional care needs.
Develop a Care Plan
After the assessment is performed, the health care team at your agency will put together a specific plan for your health care from home. This plan is essential to helping you meet the goals that matter most to you and your loved one, no matter how big or small they may seem. Your personalized home health plan will also include a list of your caregivers and delineate their responsibilities, a schedule of upcoming appointments, and medication dosage times.
A detailed care plan will also have a list of resources, including physicians’ phone numbers and other pertinent information for the health care plan. The health care plan is the roadmap that details how your team will care for you in the upcoming months.
Initiation of Care
When you have a detailed care plan, and your billing and insurance are squared away, the initiation of care can begin. Your home health care provider will visit your house multiple times a week to perform services, helping to treat your illness or injury and allowing you to recover in the comfort of your home. You will be visited by a variety of clinicians, including nurses, CNAs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.
Ongoing Care and Communication
As time goes on, your home health requirements may change. You may no longer require specific services, or you may need additional assistance. Ongoing care and communication is essential to your recovery and is handled by you and your healthcare team.
Count on Active Home Health, Hospice & Personal Care to Help You with Your Journey
Starting with home health care may seem overwhelming, but we simplify it. No matter your needs, Active is here to assist you with your journey through life. Whether you’re healing after surgery, enduring life’s normal aging process, or have faced a debilitating injury, our caring team is here to assist you in the comfort of your home.
Call us today to schedule your home health care assessment.