Maybe you’ve heard the term, but do you know what Home Health really is? Home Health often gets confused with Home Care and many don’t know how truly beneficial Home Health is. Read on to understand more about Home Health, particularly the process, pros, cons and costs.
Home Health care is skilled nursing given to a patient at their own home. When a patient gets discharged from the hospital, the physician may prescribe additional care for the patient. A Home Health agency will then send a registered nurse to the patient’s home to create a plan for the patient to recover.
In the following days after the first visit, a nurse will visit the patient periodically to initiate the care plan by performing skilled nursing visits. Depending on the diagnosis, additional services may be needed such as physical therapy. The first visit typically takes 1-2 hours while the follow up visits take 30-60 minutes depending on the procedure.
Unlike the other types of senior care options, Home Health has a finite end. The goal of the care plan is to ensure the patient is recovered. Also, goal is to educate family members to help assist with the healing process. Care plans typically vary from 1 week to 60 days, however, some patients may require indefinite skilled nursing.
Level of Dependency
In our Senior Care Options article, we provided a short description on each of the different senior care options. We ranked them based on the dependency that a senior needs. Note in the diagram that Home Health falls to the left of the dependency spectrum. This means that Home Health patients typically are more independent compared to other types of individuals who require more care intensive care. As discussed above, most of the time the goal of Home Health is to ensure the patients recover, and thus can live an independent lifestyle.
- Least intrusive senior care option
- Professional skilled nurse care
- Convenience of the patients’ own home
- Finite service period
- May feel invasive letting nurses into their home
- Costly if not covered by funding programs
Costs / Coverage
The primary source of funding for Home Health in the United States is through Medicare and Medicaid. Also, most individual insurances cover Home Health to an extent. Check with the patients’ individual insurance to see what is covered. In order to qualify for coverage, there is defined criteria that the patient must meet. The primary is that the patient must be home bound. All Home Health skilled services must be prescribed from a clinical physician.
Patients can also choose to pay out of pocket. However, this is rare as most patients are covered through the above mentioned sources. Private pay costs vary based on procedures, but roughly it can range from $100-$150 per visit.
Los Angeles Home Health Recommendations
However, we didn’t want to be biased, so if you are interested in additional Home Health agencies, here is a link from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice that allows you to find various agencies:
Also, if you were looking for alternative types of senior care options, you can review our senior care options article to get an overview of other senior care options.
Have you had Home Health before? Any tips or comments you would like to add? If so, post in our comments section, we would love to hear from you.