What is Home Health?
Home health provides intermittent nursing services and therapies to patients in their home or in a long-term care environment such as assisted living or memory care. If a doctor believes that your loved one can benefit from home health, they can write an order for this service to help them to continue to recover and regain strength in an effort to prevent a hospital readmission.
Therapy services include physical, occupational, speech and IV infusion; nursing services include setting up medications following a hospital or rehabilitation stay and wound care. Therapists, RN’s, LPN’s, certified nursing assistants (CNA’s), home health aides and medical social workers will visit your loved one a few days/week for a limited duration of time as directed by their medical insurance plan.
Home health also offers disease management programs such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke/traumatic brain injury (TBI), high blood pressure (hypertension) and neuropathy to name a few.
The most common use of home health is for continued rehabilitation following an episode at the hospital or stay at an acute rehabilitation hospital or skilled nursing facility.
Depending on medical insurance coverage provided (Medicare, Medicare Replacement Plan, Veteran’s Association, private insurance and some Medicaid-funded plans), home health can be a valuable medical benefit. If your loved one is not eligible for home health under their medical insurance plan, although expensive, it is also possible to private-pay for this service with a limited number of agencies.
In summary, home health can be an important part of a care plan to safely transition back home or to assisted living. However, if your loved one requires 24/7 care & supervision at home, it’s important to consider caregiving coverage during the hours/days when your home health team is not present.