Home Health Care is a growing trend these days. More people are choosing to live at home with a medical condition, while others want to stay home with their children, all the while benefiting from receiving constant medical care. Home Health Care usually refers to primary health care that is provided by a trained professional caregiver either in the patient’s home or in a specialized support center attached to the patient’s home. Home healthcare is often referred to as domiciliary care, in-home medical care or home health care. The role of the caregiver is very important, and the services offered vary from those provided in hospitals to those offered at home.
There are many situations when a person who needs a home health care service may qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. These programs provide coverage for medical and rehabilitation services. However, before a person qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid, he or she must meet certain requirements. In order to determine if a person does qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, a physician can evaluate the medical condition, income, assets, etc of the applicant. Once a person is determined eligible, Medicare or Medicaid may pay a percentage or a flat rate for home health benefit services that are received.
Home health care services are usually geared towards those with severe or chronic illness. In order to determine your health status, you need to be evaluated by a licensed health provider. A licensed health provider will ask questions about your past medical history, current health status and any current illnesses or conditions that may have been diagnosed or which you may be suffering from now. Some illnesses that home health care agencies consider chronic include diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease, cancer, AIDS/HIV, obesity, stroke, osteoarthritis, eczema and pregnancy. Home health care agencies also evaluate the ability of an applicant’s body to recover and handle on its own.
To qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, an applicant must meet specific income guidelines. Applicants who do not qualify for one or more of these programs may still qualify for Medicaid only. To find out whether you will qualify to receive home health care services under Medicare or Medicaid, contact your local Medicaid office.
If you have an initial visit for evaluation by your social worker or other qualified health professional, you will probably receive a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist for follow-up. On your first visit, your therapist will ask you a series of standard health screening questions that will be used to determine if you are a good candidate for home health care. The therapist will also discuss the various options that will be available to you and how they will be administered. You will also be asked about the medications that you currently take and what allergies you have. Your social worker will review all of your records during the course of your first visit, and your therapist will make recommendations based on his or her evaluation.
If you do not meet one of the following conditions, you may still qualify for home health care assistance. First, your doctor will recommend that you meet with a nutritionist or dietitian to prepare a special diet plan for yourself. This diet plan should include foods that you find nutritious and that will help you recover. Second, your doctor may recommend that you receive meal preparation and serving assistance at your first visit. Some home health care agencies or restaurants provide this service as part of your service package. Third, you may be able to qualify for community service, depending on the nature of your case.
During your first home health care visit, your nurse may include wound care, medication management, cognitive therapy and occupational therapy. Wound care includes prevention and treatment of infections, bleeding and scarring. Medication management includes the management of your prescriptions and monitoring you progress with your doctor’s orders. Cognitive therapy can help you cope with common stressors and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fear and panic attacks, and insomnia.
Your nurse will explain the services that are available to you as well as any limitations. You can expect homebound services to begin once you have received a referral from your medicare therapist or doctor. Homebound services can range from receiving light housekeeping to visiting with your doctor for a supervised inpatient stay. Homebound service is most commonly offered by private, for-profit organizations.