Below we’ve compiled frequently asked questions we’ve received from our patients and their families. We hope you’ll find them helpful. Please feel free to contact us if you need additional information.
What is home health?
Home health services are ordered by physicians for medical care at home. These are short-term and intermittent services designed to help you recover from surgery, injury, a new or major health diagnosis, chronic illness or multiple diagnoses. Our goal at Resilience Home Health is to help you transition back to your home safely and prevent re-hospitalization. For example, after a major surgery you might:
- Need a nurse to look at your surgical wounds to make sure there are no infections developing.
- Require IV antibiotics at home along with re-enforcement teaching.
- Experience weakness and need therapy to regain strength and flexibility.
- Be unable to do what you used to do and experience a higher level of stress.
Whatever your health care needs may be, our team is here to see you through this challenging time.
What types of services does home health include?
Our team of home health service providers includes nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, medical social workers and nursing aides. In addition, we have a wealth of partners to help address your comprehensive needs at home. Our nurses and therapists will work with you and educate you about your diagnosis and signs and symptoms to look for. You are always welcome to call our office to identify other resources available to you.
Who pays for home health?
Medicare pays 100% of home health services, with no co-pays or deductibles, and is accepted by most home health companies. Your private insurance may also pay for home health services.
When switching insurance plans, make sure you verify home health coverage and, more importantly, that your access to home health will remain the same. You’ll also want to find out how many nearby home health companies are in network with your new plan. It’s not cost effective for most home health providers to travel more than 15 or 20 miles to see a patient. We see so many patients change insurance plans, only to be unpleasantly surprised when no home health company can accept their new plan.
What is the eligibility to receive home health?
Under Medicare, you are eligible to receive home health if you meet the following conditions:
- Your physician ordered home health for you and you’ve seen the physician recently.
- You have a need for medical care (e.g., nursing, therapy) on a short-term, intermittent basis.
- You are homebound or have limited ability to receive outpatient care (see this Medicare document for more information). You cannot receive home health care if you are working outside of your home, as you will not meet the requirement for being homebound.
How do I pick a home health provider?
As with anything else, consumers should educate themselves when selecting a home health provider. You will be letting people into your home, and you have the right to choose who that is. As a patient, you and your family have the right to choose your provider. Here are some tips to help you choose:
- Most health care facilities can provide a list of local companies for you to consider.
- Medicare assures you the right to choose the provider you want to work with. Your freedom of choice is protected by federal law.
- Compare the Medicare home health star ratings of companies you are considering. Home health care companies are given from one to five stars, based on their patient outcomes. More details can be found on the CMS/Medicare website.
- You are also welcome to call the home health company and interview them. Ask them when they are available to start your care and if they have experience working with cases like yours.
What if my doctor recommends home health, but I’m still not sure about it?
Home health has been proven to help patients recuperate and stay out of the hospital, while also saving money.
The American Journal of Medicine published a study reviewing the files of over 17,000 patients discharged from the Cleveland Clinic. It reported a 20% lower mortality rate for patients who received home health services, and those patients’ healthcare spending was reduced by over $15,000 per year compared to those who did not receive home care. Their cost savings were partly due to a 30% reduction in re-hospitalization and an improvement in overall health.
A larger industry study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported similar findings in 2016.
Early diagnosis, understanding your signs and symptoms, and medication education are all helpful in preventing re-hospitalization and improving overall health.