Home Health is exactly what it sounds like – health care services offered in the comfort of your own home! Many treatments that used to only be available in a hospital or other medical facility, such as IV therapy, wound care or stroke rehabilitation, can now be done at home. Home Health professionals including nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and personal care aides can provide in-home services for your health needs.
The main goal of Home Health is to improve your health and allow you to become independent in managing your own care.
In order to qualify for home health, your doctor must order it and be willing to continue to manage your care. You must have a health condition that requires the services of a registered nurse, speech pathologist or physical therapist (also called a skilled need), and you must be homebound.
Homebound means that leaving your home takes great effort on your part. It doesn’t mean that you never leave your house, but rather that you need help from someone else and/or a walker or wheelchair in order to leave your home. Since it takes more effort to leave your home to go to simple medical treatments such as physical therapy or IV infusions, Home Health is an easier alternative. It’s important to know that patients may leave home for medical treatment, and occasionally for non-medical things (like attending religious services, attending a special event or getting a haircut) and still qualify for Home Health.
Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans cover Home Health visits when ordered by your doctor and deemed a necessary medical cost. Aegis will work with your insurance provider to check your coverage for Home Health.
Your doctor decides and is the one to give Aegis an order for Home Health. You must remain under the care of your doctor during the period you have Home Health.
Your doctor decides which kinds of care you need possibly a nurse, a physical therapist, a speech pathologist, or a combination. Only if you have at least one of those three, your doctor may also order an occupational therapist, social worker or personal care aide, depending on your condition.
Often the doctor’s office will call Aegis to set up home health care. If you are a patient in the hospital, the hospital discharge planner may call. You may ask either the doctor or discharge planner about Home Health, or you can call us yourself; we will find out if your doctor would like to order Home Health for you.
Aegis Home Health is very comprehensive and cares for people who need things such as wound care, physical rehabilitation after a stroke or surgery, intravenous (IV) medications and help managing the symptoms of a life-threatening illness. Aegis also has Home Health services for people with chronic diseases.
Aegis Home Health has nurses available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for consultation or home visits as needed.
Home Health services are intermittent, not 24/7. Services are provided with short visits from healthcare professionals, but no one comes to stay. Patients who need full-time nursing care do not qualify for Home Health.
The frequency of visits is based on the doctor’s order and the patient’s needs and may vary, but most commonly are one to two times a week. Visits are usually an hour or less.
If the patient has a skilled need and a nurse, speech pathologist or physical therapist is visiting, then the doctor may also order a home health aide to assist with personal care such as bathing, dressing, and shaving. Just needing personal care does not qualify for Home Health.
Home Health is intended for short periods of time, such as a few weeks. It is meant to provide care just long enough to stabilize your health and teach you about managing your condition on your own or with the help of your caregiver.
Supplies are paid for when they are ordered as part of your care. Equipment such as a wheelchair or walker is paid separately by Medicare. Medicare usually pays 80% of the amount they decide is appropriate. Aegis will work with you to arrange for an equipment company to bring items the doctor has ordered to your home.