What Is Home Health Care?
Home health care provides skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, and medical social services in the comfort of home.
Home health care is prescribed by your doctor and is provided by a variety of health care
professionals. Medicare covers home health care that is temporary and part-time.
Home health professionals may teach you, or your caregivers, how to care for wounds and manage
medication. The goal is to help you reach and keep your best physical, mental and social well-being.
Home Health Care: What Medicare Covers
Medicare will help cover home health care costs for people with Medicare who meet the following four conditions:
· Your doctor must decide you need medical care at home, and make a plan for your care at home.
· You must need at least one of the following: intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, or continue to need occupational therapy.
· You must be homebound. This means that you are normally unable to leave home unassisted. Being homebound means that leaving home is a major effort. When you leave home, it must be to get medical care, or for short, infrequent nonmedical reasons such as a trip to get a haircut, to attend religious services, or adult day care.
· The Medicare program must approve the home health agency caring for you.
For more information about these services and Medicare's coverage of home health care, read the free publication from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicare and Home Health Care, available on the Web at http://www.medicare.gov/ or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Home Health (Medicare Part A): admission requirements & homebound status
Homebound Status Defined: Generally speaking, a patient is considered homebound if he has a condition due to an illness or injury which restricts his ability to leave his place of residence except with the aid of supportive devices such as crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers, the use of special transportation, or the assistance of another person or if he has a condition which is such that leaving his home is medically contraindicated.
Key Components in the Evaluation of Homebound Status
- A normal inability to leave home.
- Leaving home would require a considerable and taxing effort.
- Absences from home are to receive medical care including attendance at adult day health centers, or ongoing receipt of outpatient dialysis, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Occasional absences from home for non-medical purposes so long as the absences are infrequent(less than once a week on a regular basis), or of relatively short duration(less than 3 hours) and do not indicate that the patient has the capacity to obtain the health care provided outside rather than in the home.
- Leaving the home infrequently for short periods of time for special family occasions, such as family reunions, weddings, graduations, funerals, or to attend religious services is permissible.