Medical Home Health Care vs. Non-medical Home Health Care...if you are reading this, you are likely among the thousands of caregivers needing help caring for a loved one at home. What is the difference?
One significant difference is who pays the bill... you or insurance?
With a doctors order and insurance that is accepted by the agency and covers home care, these services are generally covered. Medical home care provides skilled medical services such as:
- Registered Nurse
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Home Health Aid
- Medical Social Worker
These medical personnel can only come to your home by an order from the doctor. This can be initiated by a trip to the doctor, a call to the doctor and sometimes a call to a home care agency explaining your difficulty. They can then contact the doctor.
Several questions need to be answered at this point to help you decide what you need.
- Is the patient recently home from the hospital?
- Is the patient falling at home?
- Are you confused about what medications to give the patient?
- Is there a significant change in functional ability or decline in activity level recently?
- Is the patient frequently going to the ER?
Yes to 2 or more of the above questions may indicate a potential need for medical home health care.
Discussing your felt need with your doctor will help you understand the issues and the answers.
Non-medical home care
If you and your doctor have ruled out the need for medical home care but you still feel you need some help, consider non-medical home care. Non-medical care means just that. Non medical. These services are often referred to as companion services.
Your best bet is to Google "home health assistance" or the like. You can always call a business and ask if they provide non-medical home care assistance. Beware though, most medical home care company's WILL provide solely a home health aid but at a ridiculous price. You may find better rates by hiring a company who provides only non-medical home care assistance. This is what they do best and they generally do it well.
Do your homework and use your phone. Ask the agency how long their workers have been there. Don't be afraid to pay a little more if you feel you are following your gut. You are depending on these people to give you or your loved one the proper care and respect that they need and deserve.
You may qualify for home health care physical therapy under Medicare - it's worth a look!
You may also want to consider how your care may be affected by the way your home care team is paid.