Home health care encompasses many different types of health care services which are provided in the patient's home. This can include visits from nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and nursing assistants. Home health care can mean a one time visit or 24 hour a day care.
The patients who receive health care from home are just as diverse. They can be the elderly who live alone or an infant who is on life support. The goal of home health care is to keep the patient in their own home while ensuring good medical care. This kind of health care reduces overall health care costs since these patients do not have to pay for hospital rooms and services.
Health care services at home may be administered by a local hospital or an independent agency. End of life health care from home is often provided by Hospice. It is important to make sure you hire credentialed home healthcare workers when you are looking for home health care. Healthcare practitioners who provide this service must be fully licensed just like their counterparts who work in hospitals or nursing homes.
This particular service is usually covered by insurance, at least in part, if it is ordered by a physician. Insurance companies are generally supportive of home health care because it costs them less money to cover a patient at home as opposed to covering the cost of a hospital stay.
This services may include the following:
1) A visit from a registered nurse for evaluations or to administer IV medications.
2) A visit from a respiratory therapist to maintain medical equipment.
3) A visit from a physical therapist for a session of rehabilitation exercises.
4) Around the clock care by certified nursing assistants.
5) Overnight coverage by a sitter.
Health care services at home will usually be arranged by the hospital, nursing home, or physician after a hospitalization and before the patient is sent home. Insurance arrangements will be made before hand and the approved number of visits and type of care will be determined. If the patient does not need much hands-on care, but requires supervision, a sitter may be indicated. If the patient needs to be fed, bathed, or given medications, a nursing assistant may be sent for part of the day. Home health care workers have specific tasks which they are and are not allowed to do according to their license.