Home Health Care News

The Home Care Solution: Who to Call for Home Health Care

When hiring home health care, seek out a licensed medical caregivers designated as ‘home health agency,’ advises James Summerfelt, chief executive officer of the Visiting Nurse Association. “The term often indicates the provider is Medicare-certified and has met minimum federal requirements for patient care and management.”

Eligibility for Home Health Care under Medicare is Determined By the Following:

  • You must require intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy or speech therapy.
  • You must be homebound.
  • You must currently be under a physician’s care. All home health services must be ordered by your physician.

Services are delivered at home to recovering, disabled, chronically or terminally ill persons in need of medical, nursing, social, or therapeutic treatment and/or assistance with the essential activities of daily living.

When interviewing an agency make sure you understand exactly what services it will provide and those it will not provide, including those it is forbidden to provide by state law. Families are allowed to provide any care for a family member, but professionals have to abide by state law. For instance, in many states, invasive procedures such as injections and maintenance of feeding tubes may not be administered by non-skilled professionals. You may need a doctor or a nurse to perform these procedures.*

Questions to ask a home health care provider:

  • Is the home health care agency Medicare-certified? That means it is approved to provide services to patients with Medicare.
  • Does the home health care agency offer a full range of home health care services including skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapies, IV therapy and home health aides.
  • How do I receive home health care agency services? A referral van be made by anyone involved in a patient’s care – physician, family or others. If someone other than a physician makes referrals, many home health care agencies contact the patient’s physician to approve orders for service.
  • Does the hospital discharge planned, doctor or social worker recommend the home health care agency? Those recommendations can serve as a second reference.
  • Does the home health care agency have the staff available at nights and on the weekends for emergencies?
  • Where else could I find information about Medicare-Certified home health care agencies?
  • Does the home health care agency have staff available to provide the type and hours of care as prescribed by the physician?

Information about Medicare-certified agencies in you geographic area are available online at www.medicare.gov, including Home Health Compare, which allows you to compare the home health care agencies in your area. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE for more information.

Home Instead Senior Care is an in-home health care provider located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina serving individuals and families in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area for over 11 years! We offer assistance to those in need for companionship, home help, personal care, short-term recovery, Alzheimer’s care, Respite care and many other services to make your life easier.

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Murrells Inlet, SC 29576