When your loved one needs nursing care following an illness or surgery, home health services help patients recover and regain their independence in the comfort of their own homes. But not all services are created equal, so you want to ensure you choose the right provider for care.
To help steer you in the right direction, we have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you choose the right services so your loved one gets the help they need. We will look at the factors to consider when choosing home health services, questions to ask, and payment options.
What are Home Health Services?
Home health covers a wide range of services that can be given in a patient’s home to treat an illness or injury.  This type of in-home care is convenient for patients because they don’t have to leave their homes, and is usually less expensive than spending time in a skilled nursing facility.
Types of Home Health Services
Many services fall under the umbrella of home services. These can include:
- Wound care
- Injections (specifically teaching caregivers how to do IVs)
- Intravenous or nutrition therapy
- Monitoring a serious illness or health status
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Nursing care
You must have a doctor’s order to receive any home services. This will specify the type of care needed. A doctor’s order is also necessary if you are trying to get Medicare or any other insurance provider to pay for the services. You must also have a following primary care physician who signs orders to continue receiving home health care.
Once the doctor’s orders are placed, there will be an initial consultation to assess the patient’s needs and develop a treatment plan.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Home Health Services
When choosing home care services, there are several factors to consider to ensure you are getting the best and proper care for your loved one. Take a look at this checklist:
Consider the Range of Services Offered
Look to see that your chosen agency offers a wide range of services. This is helpful because their needs may change, and it would be better if you didn’t have to change agencies to receive different services.
Look at the Caregiver’s Qualifications and Credentials
Check that your health service agency is qualified and has the proper credentials. All providers should be insured and licensed to perform their services.
Examine the Cost and Payment Options
The cost and payment options are important in choosing the right home care services. Medicare, Medicaid, or other insurers may cover services. Read more about paying for home health services below.
Ask for Recommendations & Referrals
Ask for recommendations and referrals as you narrow your search. This can give you a good idea of whether you are headed in the right direction. Hearing about someone’s experiences first-hand can give you a good idea of whether you want your loved one to work with a specific agency.
Reading reviews can also be helpful when choosing home health services. Remember that some people may write inaccurate reviews, so you want to always have other sources to make an informed decision.
Questions to Ask When Choosing Home Services
As you choose home health services, it’s essential to ask the right questions to get the answers you need. These are some questions to keep in mind:
What Type of Training is Given to Staff?
You want to be sure that staff is not only trained initially but also receives updated training. This ensures that your loved one always gets the most current treatment plans.
What Regulatory Bodies Oversee Services?
Always be sure that someone is overseeing the company providing home health services. This can give you peace of mind that the company is legitimate and following all protocols.
How Frequently Will You Be Visiting?
Be sure that the company will adhere to the doctor’s schedule for care. You want everyone to be on the same page regarding home health services.
Does the Home Health Agency do Background Checks?
You want to be sure that anyone who will be going inside your loved one’s home has had a proper background check. This ensures your loved one’s safety, especially if they are alone.
Paying for Home Health Services
Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B will cover eligible home healthcare services as long as you need part-time skilled services and you are homebound.  These covered services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing care, as well as wound care.
To be covered, any home healthcare agency must be Medicare-certified. Medicare will not cover 24-hour care at home, meals, or homemaker services.
Medicaid will also pay for some eligible home health services. But, since each state runs its Medicaid program differently, eligibility and benefits will differ. If you are unsure about your insurance coverage for health services at home, reach out to the professionals at Aleca, and they may be able to assist.
Benefits of Choosing the Right Home Health Services for Families
One of the main benefits of home health services is that they are delivered right to the patient’s home. There are no worries about transportation. Many patients thrive in familiar settings, leading to faster healing and recovery. Other benefits may include:
- Faster healing and recovery
- Slowing the decline of a serious condition
- Better symptom management
Another benefit of home services is the personalized level of care that patients receive. Providers get to truly know each patient and their needs. These lead to a different level of care and the ability to form relationships to help them thrive during their recovery.
Do you Need Home Healthcare Services? Contact Aleca Today!
Aleca offers a wide range of services to help you or your loved one right from the comfort of their home or wherever they may be living. Our services include:
- Skilled Nursing
- Occupational & Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Medical Social Workers
- Wound care
- Workman’s Comp
- Teaching caregivers how to do IVs and give injections
Our team also provides specialized programming for those with COPD, pain, wounds, diabetes mellitus, and congestive heart failure. Aleca’s clinical teams work with the patient’s physician to provide a care network. They will work together and be in constant communication so that the patient’s needs are also put first. For more information on services at Aleca, call us today!
Dan is Vice President, Marketing of the Alumus family of companies. A Seattle native, he earned his BA in Humanities and Political Science at Evergreen State College. He started his career as a newspaper columnist, eventually transitioning into marketing and tech writing for Microsoft and several other startups. He later launched a successful creative agency focused on branding, digital marketing, and content production in Los Angeles, where he worked for several nursing and behavioral health clients, eventually becoming the National Marketing Director for one of them.
He has taught Vipassana mindfulness meditation and MBSR and spends whatever free time he has with his son snowboarding, hiking, and camping in the mountains.