What is Home Care?

Home care, also known as home health care and home support services, encompasses a wide range of medical and non-medical services delivered in an individual’s home. The spectrum of services ranges from therapy to non-medical home care services.

Health care delivered in the comfort and security of the home provides the patient and his/her family with a sense of control and peace of mind. Home care also helps reduce the strain caused by excessive hospital or nursing home bills during an illness or disability. Staying at home will enable the patient to maintain social ties and involvement with community, friends and family. This preserves a sense of independence and security for the patient.

Home care continues to grow as the demand for cost effective services in the home increases. The growth is due in part to the again population and shortened hospitalizations. Today, services that previously required hospitalization are routinely delivered in the home.

Who is Eligible for Medicare Home Health Care?

To be eligible for Medicare covered home health care, you must meet the following criteria:


You must be under a physician’s care and the physician must order the services.


You must require a skilled, intermittent service such as ; skilled nursing care, physical therapy, or speech therapy.


You must be homebound due to an illness or injury which makes it difficult for you to leave home in order to receiver medical care.


What is Homebound?

Medicare considers a patient to be homebound if “leaving the home would require a considerable and taxing effort,” and if “he/she has a condition due to an illness or injury which restricts his/her ability to leave his/her place of residence except with the aid of supportive devices such as crutches, canes, wheel chairs and walkers, [with] the use of special transportation, or the assistance of another person, or if leaving the home is medically contraindicated.” Homebound patients may leave the home “if the absences are undertaken on an infrequent basis or are relatively short duration...or for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.”


Is Durable Medical Equipment provided?

Yes. Arrangement for these services will be made for the special needs of the patient and in most cases are covered by Medicare. For example: commodes, wheelchairs, crutches, hospital beds and I.V. equipment.


Patient Rights

It is important that individuals receiving home care are aware of their rights and responsibilities associated with receiving home healthcare. Ferderal law obligates home care agencies to inform patients of their rights and responsibilities before care is provided. The law guarantees an individual receiving homecare the right to participate in the healthcare decisions that directly affect them and the responsibilities the individual accepts in paticipating in these decisions.