Frequently Asked Questions
What services are provided?
Home health capabilities continue to expand. The list below is generally representative of services available, though specific coverage for services varies from insurer to insurer.
- Care of the Terminally Ill
Services provide an integrated array of supportive and clinical care, differing from hospice care because patients are able to continue to receive aggressive treatment. An agency does not have to be a Medicare-certified hospice to deliver these services.
- Home Health Aides
Licensed nursing assistants assist individuals with daily living activities and personal care. Specific duties depend on the aide's training and experience, and the needs of the individual.
- Day Surgery Follow-up
Services can include nursing evaluation, assessment, rehabilitation therapy and support services to monitor a patient's progress and assess their condition. Home health agencies can assist with personal care during the recuperative period. Nurses can perform blood draws in conjunction with follow-up needed for symptom management and lab results.
- Enteral Therapy and Parenteral Nutrition
Hyperalimentation or tube feedings for persons with GI dysfunction.
- Home Venipuncture
Blood draws, blood screening tests and lab work, including cultures and urinalysis. Home health agencies can also serve as a liaison between the homebound patient and physician through blood tests.
Assist with laundry, groceries, cleaning and other routine household tasks.
- Intravenous Therapy
Capabilities include IV starts and re-starts, care of peripheral, central and P.I.C.C. lines, instruction to both patients and caregivers, and management of all types of pumps for hydration, hyperalimentation and medication administration such as antibiotics, chemotherapy and pain management.
- Laboratory Support Services
Specimen collection and delivery to area laboratories for testing and analysis. Services may include venipuncture, urine collection, wound culture and sputum collection, among others.
- Medical Social Services
Psycho-social support and planning assistance for the individual and family regarding limitations of an illness or injury as well as assistance and coordination of additional required resources. Medical social workers explore current options, helping individuals make difficult decisions. They consider financial implications and provide emotional support, enhancing the coping skills of the family or other caregivers.
Skilled assessment, planning, monitoring, treatment and evaluation.
- Nutrition Counseling
A registered dietitian assesses and plans for a patient's nutritional needs, from basic meal planning to complex therapeutic diets. Evaluates whether enteral/parenteral feedings are adequate to meet nutritional needs.
- Occupational Therapy
Evaluates functional level, teaches therapeutic activities, fits self-help devices, adapts home environment and provides adaptive equipment recommendations.
- Patient Education
Disease process, treatments, equipment, medications and diet consulting are some of the areas where staff help educate patients and families.
- Physical Therapy
The use of evaluation and assessment, therapeutic exercises, massage, heat, cold or electrical treatments and home adaptation by a physical therapist as part of the treatment plan.
- Pre-Surgery Assessment and Pre-Op Teaching
Working closely with the physician and the hospital, home health care staff provide instruction on post-op precautions and proper use of ambulatory assistive devices. Pre-op strengthening exercises better prepare the individual for surgery, decreasing hospital stay and increasing patient recovery.
- Speech Therapy
Assessment and treatment for those with an illness or injury which affects speaking and hearing abilities, language skills or swallowing.