What is Home Health Care?

“Home health care” refers to services ordered by your physician as part of treatment for your illness or medical condition. It is delivered by a team of professionals, who visit the patient and the patient’s family caregiver at home. The family caregiver is a key member of the home care team. Providing information, training, and support to the patient and their family caregivers are important parts of the home health care process.

Examples of skilled home health services

  • Wound care
  • Physical, occupational or speech therapy
  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Injections
  • Monitoring serious illness and unstable health status

The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.

If you receive your Medicare benefits through a Medicare health plan, check with your plan to find out how it provides your Medicare-covered home health benefits.

If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy or other health insurance coverage, be sure to speak with your doctor or other health care provider so your bills get paid correctly.

What should you expect from home health care?

  • Doctor’s orders are needed to start care. Once your doctor refers you for home health services, the home health agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to talk to you about your needs and ask you some questions about your health.
  • The home health agency staff will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep your doctor updated about your progress.
  • It’s important that home health staff see you as often as the doctor ordered.

Examples of services the home health staff provides

  • Checking what you’re eating and drinking
  • Checking your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing
  • Checking that you’re taking your prescription and other drugs and any treatments correctly
  • Asking if you’re having pain
  • Ensuring your safety in the home
  • Teaching you about your care so you can take care of yourself
  • Coordinating your care – this means they must communicate regularly with you, your doctor, and anyone else who gives you care