Home Health Care
What is Home Health Care?
Older adults often require a variety of professional medical services after an illness, injury or hospital stay, but don’t need the level of care provided by a skilled nursing facility.
Under a physician’s direction, home health care agencies coordinate in-home visits from:
Wound care specialists
Speech and language therapists
Home health aides
In addition to home health care, non-medical home care may also be beneficial to those who require help with activities of daily living.
Types of In-Home Medical Care
Home health care may be required on a short- or long-term basis and is categorized accordingly.
This type of skilled care is typically prescribed following a surgery or a qualifying hospital stay to help regain strength and independence. The transitional, convalescing care may only be necessary for a few days or it may last for a few months. During this time one or more care professionals make visits and work toward common goals of self-sufficiency. Someone who has suffered a minor stroke, for example, may need an interdisciplinary team to relearn motor and language skills, while another person may need a wound specialist to change dressings until a surgical incision heals.
This type of home care is usually reserved for those who have chronic illnesses or progressive conditions. These may include Parkinson’s disease, diabetes or dementia. As the situation becomes more complex, more medical services are added to the home health plan until admittance to a skilled nursing facility or hospice is necessary.
Home health benefits are available through Original Medicare for short-term care (generally 21 days or less, though extensions may be granted) as long as certain criteria are met. Be sure to verify that the home health agency you choose is a certified provider to prevent any out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare also covers the full cost of doctor-prescribed supplies for home health care, including bandages and dressings. Durable medical equipment is typically covered at 80%. Home health agencies are required to provide written notice (Advance Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage) before administering a service or supply that is not covered by Medicare. Medicaid coverage varies by state.
Original Medicare typically does not cover long-term home health care. Medicare Advantage or private insurance plans may provide benefits for continuous care, however.
Regain Strength and Independence With Home Health Care
Search our directory and schedule professional, in-home medical care and rehabilitation following a hospital stay, surgery or illness. Prefer to speak with a Agibly advisor? Call 1-833-4-AGIBLY.
What is Hospice Care?
Saying goodbye to loved ones is always difficult, but knowing they are in a comfortable setting during their final days is important. Hospice care can be provided anywhere, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, hospital or skilled nursing facility. There are also centers specifically designed for hospice.
Wherever the end-of-life care is provided, an interdisciplinary team of nurses and doctors focuses on controlling pain while social workers and spiritual leaders offer support. Family members also receive training in day-to-day care techniques. Respite for caregivers and bereavement services may be included as well.
The Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice
Comfort is the primary goal of both hospice and palliative care. Unlike hospice care, which is intended for end-of-life scenarios, palliative care is recommended for those who are still seeking curative treatment for a chronic illness or life-threatening disease. The focus is on easing symptoms and side effects associated with potentially life-saving treatments — while preparing, undergoing and recovering from the procedures.
Hospice Care Costs
Medicare, Medicaid and other types of insurance typically cover hospice care on a short-term basis of six months or less. If a person chooses to leave hospice and actively pursue curative treatment again, then later returns for end-of-life care, most insurance policies allow the reactivation of hospice benefits.
Compassionate End-of-Life Care
When treatments and cures are no longer an option for an advanced illness or disease, hospice care offers comfort, dignity and quality during the final stage of life. Search our directory of inpatient hospice facilities and home hospice providers to get the type of care best suited to your situation. Or, call 1-833-4-AGIBLY for more information on end-of-life care.