What Qualifies a Patient for Home Health Care?
To qualify for home health care, a person needs to meet the following criteria:
- Was recently discharged from a hospital, rehabilitation center, or nursing home
- Requires intermittent (part-time) skilled care services (skilled nursing, continued occupational therapy, or speech therapy)
- Is homebound (have an illness or injury that causes them difficulty leaving home without help)
- Are under the direct care of a physician
- Has a new or aggravated illness
Home health care services are suitable for people who are homebound and need one of the following medical services:
- Wound or ostomy care
- IV therapy or injectables
- Catheter care
- Cardiac and pulmonary monitoring needs
- Medication management
- Pain management
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
The major financier of home health services in the U.S. is Medicare. Nevertheless, other insurance companies such as Medicaid, Long-term care insurance, Veterans benefits, and many private health insurance companies may cover home health care expenses.
The main goal of home health care is to help patients get better and be independent as much as possible. For individuals with long-term health issues, the goal is to learn to live with illness or disability and keep up the maximum ability level.