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Options for Care at Home

Options for Care at Home Offered by LifeCare

The world of healthcare is changing rapidly. These changes result in new policies and regulations, new forms of reimbursement, new services and technological innovations that become available to people.

It can be tough for people in the industry to keep up with all of these changes. Understandably, it can be even more difficult for people who are not familiar with the field and are just starting to do research, as well as for those who must make urgent care decisions for their loved ones.

What types of Home Care are available and How to decide which Services to use?

At LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services, we want to make the process of choosing your home care options as easy as possible. We hope that this page can act as a guide for you to review the care options available in the market right now, highlight their differences, and review their reimbursements. It is our hope that you can learn pointers on where to find the right providers and what questions to ask to ensure providers are qualified to do the work.

Medical Home Health Services

Medical Home Health Services, also called Skilled Care Services, are services provided by agencies licensed as Home Health Agencies by their state. Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, than and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Skilled Home Health Care services may include provision of the nursing, physical, occupational, or speech therapy, and home health aide services.

Medical Home Health Services are ordered and overseen by the medical doctor.

Your physician, social worker at the hospital or rehabilitation facility can recommend a home health care agency to you. It is important that you as a patient is aware that you have a choice to select a home health care provider of your choice.

Medical Home Health services that are covered by government or private insurers follow strict guidelines for visit frequencies and duration. Patients can always supplement with or continue with medical care services on a private pay basis.

Payment Sources for Medical Home Health Services

Home Health Services are covered by commercial insurances, Medicare, Medicaid, and private pay. There are also options for indigent patients who have no coverage at all.

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Click Here to learn about the Questions to Ask when Home Health is Ordered

  1. Is the Home Health provider JACHO-certified?
  2. How soon will I (or loved one) be visited by a nurse after discharge from the hospital / rehab?
  3. Does the Home Health provider have a 24/7 help line?
  4. Does the Home Health agency utilize a social service worker when patient needs community resources? Check that the agency has a social worker on staff and does not rely on consulting services from outside agencies.
  5. Is the Home Health agency is a hospital based on independently owned? Independently and privately owned agencies would be more willing to “go an extra mile’ for the patient since they primarily rely for the recurring business from the satisfied customers. Hospital home health agencies are not as worried about the patient retention due to steady referrals from the owning hospital.
  6. Does your Medical Home Health also provide non-medical at-home care services? Companies that are able to supplement medical home health services with non-medical caregiving assistance are a better option for an overall comprehensive care and a one-stop solution.
  7. Are you Medicare-certified? Do you accept my insurance? Some companies may carry a license but are not Medicare certified and thus not able to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries.
  8. Who will handle medical equipment (ex: medical bed, oxygen, safety equipment, etc.)
  9. Who is in control of my loved one’s care once your agency steps in? Will my doctor be involved in my care once Home Health steps in?
  10. Can Home Health and Hospice co-exist?
  11. If I, or a loved one, am re-hospitalized, how can I assure that your Home Health agency resumes its services once I, or my loved one, am discharged? LifeCare offers Patient Choice Cards that have Home Health and Nurse Information available for Social Workers in case of the hospital admission. Home Health Agency is then notified in advance prior to patient’s discharge home.
  12. Who is my point of contact in Home Health? How do I add and / or discontinue services?

Non-Medical Care at Home or In-Home Services

Talented care-givers can be instrumental in motivating clients to heal physically and emotionally by taking the patient out for walks, social events, family gatherings, day programs, and local activities. Most importantly, care-givers from reputable agencies provide their patients and families with peace of mind. Having a care-giver, be it on an hourly or live-in basis, adds immeasurable support to patients with disabilities, as well as the elderly.

Non-medical In-Home Care services may include companionship, personal care services, respite care.

Home Care is also an alternative option to placing your loved one in a nursing home. It has been shown that patients who reside at home live longer, are more likely to stick to a healthy day regimen, participate in at-home rehab exercises assigned by Home Health physical therapists, and enjoy the quality of life that comes with residing at home.

Payment Sources for Medical Home Health Service

In-Home Care Services are not reimbursed by commercial insurance or Medicare. Some, but not all, Home Care Providers accept certain types of long-term care insurance, Veterans Aid, and workers’ compensation through state-funded programs for qualified citizens (aged 60+), as well as for people with disabilities. However, the primary source of payment remains private pay.

If you plan to use in-home care under long-term care insurance, Veterans Aid, or workers’ compensation, you will need to qualify for specific requirements as defined by each program. Contact a LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services representative who can help you understand qualifications and coverage information.

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Click Here to learn about the Questions to Ask when selecting In-Home Care Services

  1. Is the Home Care (In-Home Care) provider state certified to provide caregiving services?
  2. Does the In-Home Care provider have a 24/7 help line?
  3. Are those providing the care actual employees of the company? Do they receive a W-2 from the company? State regulations require homecare agencies to employ caregivers. Many companies outsource to staffing companies to avoid insurance and IRS liabilities.
  4. Does the company have Workers’ Compensation, General Liability and Auto coverage for those providing care?
  5. What training do your care givers receive? Any disease-specific training?
  6. How does the company screen caregiver employees?
  7. Does the company conduct background screening and utilizes state Health Registry?
  8. How often do your care givers receive supervisory visits?
  9. Does the company also offer medical home health services? Companies that are able to supplement non-medical caregiving assistance with medical home health services are a better option for an overall comprehensive care and a one-stop solution.
  10. Does the company offer telephony services? LifeCare offers a telephony solution, phone check-in and check-out, if client wants to ensure that the working hours are electronically tracked.
  11. Is the company a franchise or independently owned? Privately owned companies, like LifeCare, do not have limitations that franchise companies have. Independently owned companies have more flexibility in developing customized care solutions and payment plans and do not have geographical service area boundaries.
  12. Does the company work with Long Term Care Insurance? Many Long Term Care companies work with In-Home Care providers that have medical home health license. It is beneficial to utilize the services of the company that is able to work directly with your Long Term Care Insurance provider.
  13. How quickly can you staff or change care givers after the contract is signed?
  14. Is your agency on a community care list with the Department of Aging and the Department of Human Services for low-income populations?