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What exactly is home health care?

January 13, 2018

Often, we at Sunshine Home Care are asked the question, "What exactly is home health care?" It's a great question, and it is something we like to clear the air about often. Home health care is a service not understood by many until they or someone they know need it.


What is home health care?


Well, simply put, home health care is when a person receives treatment or services that they would otherwise receive in their doctor's office or hospital in the comfort of their own home.


These services encompass a lot of things from nursing visits to several types of therapy including physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Home health also means assistance in the way of bathing and cleaning by a home health aide if it is deemed reasonably necessary. (For example, see a full list of Sunshine Home Care's services here.)


The overall goal of home health care is to help you get better and regain your independence.


Who needs home health care?


The range of who needs home health care is wide, but it is most often Medicare recipients (those age 65 and older). Whether you need home health care or not is determined by your primary care doctor. If you doctor deems it reasonably necessary that you need home health care, they will order it from the agency of your choosing.  That's right! Just like you have the right to choose your own doctor, you also have the right to choose your own home health agency.


Many people needing home health care have had recent surgeries, hospitalizations, or recurring falls. Home health care can also be necessary for those coping with certain diseases such as Alzheimer's or diabetes (read more about caring for Alzheimer's and diabetes here).


It may also be useful for those that have recently had a stroke or heart attack. Home health agencies often have disease management teams that will oversee these cases.


What happens next?


After speaking with your doctor about home health care, they will send the home health agency the order if they determine you have a skilled care need. From there, you will be assigned a registered nurse as a case manager. They will visit with you to assess your condition, and then work with your doctor on a plan of care to help you recover.


How do I choose an agency?


Your doctor or hospital will often have a list of area agencies to choose from. You can also visit Medicare's Home Health Compare website to see what agencies are in your area, what areas they excel in, and how they compare to other agencies. Visit here to find out how Sunshine Home Care compares to other Western Oklahoma agencies.


Who pays for home health care?


Home health care is covered by Medicare, private insurance, VA benefits, and private payers. For more information on Medicare and home health care, check out this video:


If you or someone you know may be in need of home health care, reach out to us for more information. You can contact us here or call us at 1-877-477-2014.

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