The process of home healthcare consists of a professional caregiver providing personal care in the patient’s home. This type of care differs from group facilities where patients are cared for in shared areas. The process is also known as social care, domiciliary care, or in-home care. If you or a loved one requires a higher level of care than is available in a nursing home, you can hire an in-home care provider to provide the assistance you need.
Medicare beneficiaries must meet with their doctor 90 days before home health care begins. After every 60-day period, they can choose to renew the treatment or discontinue it. Only specialized care is covered by Medicare. Medicare will pay for skilled care if it is provided by an accredited home health agency. For this reason, Medicare home healthcare providers must have a license to provide health care in the home. There are some exceptions to this rule, though.
Medicare-certified home care agencies must be bonded and insured. The agencies must have a high level of quality control and training. There should be nursing supervisors on site at all times and proper training for caregivers. It is also a good idea to choose an agency with a financial assistance program if you are unable to afford a full-time in-home care provider. It is also a good idea to research the costs and availability of different home healthcare providers before choosing a provider.
While the services provided by home healthcare providers vary, they are typically based on the needs of their clients. In-home nurses can assist with wound care, bathing, and administering medications, as well as help patients with a variety of personal needs. Some even provide more complex care like tracheostomy and catheter care, so it’s worth looking for a qualified in-home healthcare provider. A quality in-home healthcare provider can help a patient regain their independence and feel more comfortable in their home.
Another distinction between hospital and home care is respect for the patient’s autonomy. In hospital-based care, clinicians make many decisions on behalf of patients. However, in home healthcare, the patient maintains greater control over interventions. For example, hospital staff may administer antibiotics at therapeutic intervals, while a patient in a home care setting may choose to take them irregularly. They may choose to take antibiotics on a daily basis or only as directed.
Home care providers may be nurses, therapists, or other health care professionals. Home care services vary in type and can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and respiratory care. Most of these services are short-term and covered by Medicare if the patient is home-bound or has a chronic condition. A medical professional may prescribe a home health care plan that best fits the individual’s needs and budget. Once an in-home care provider identifies the type of care needed, the patient will receive a personalized plan that will help them recover as quickly as possible.
In-home healthcare staff follow physician orders. They keep the physician informed about the patient’s condition. The visits vary from day to day, and may be as long as daily or bi-weekly. The home health care service provider will be there as needed. The frequency of the visits will depend on the patient’s needs. Some patients require 24-hour care, while others need only short visits a few times a week. The provider will determine the best schedule for the patient, and the care staff should work around the patient’s schedule.
If you need help recovering from surgery or a chronic illness, home health care can be an invaluable resource. Medicare covers most forms of home health care, provided the doctor orders them. The benefits of home health care are typically lower than those provided in skilled nursing facilities or hospitals. However, if your Medicare health insurance plan doesn’t cover home care, you may be able to get coverage through Medigap or long-term care insurance. If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicare coverage, contact your insurance company to see if they offer home care.
While research on workplace conditions and safety standards in home healthcare is still in its early stages, there are some promising results. Feldman and colleagues examined the relationship between adverse events and nurses’ work environments in 86 home healthcare teams. Teams that were able to provide higher-volume patient care, had lower rates of hospital admissions, and reported more teamwork and equitably distributed incentives were less likely to experience adverse events. In contrast, teams with less support from their supervisor had higher rates of adverse events.