Home care is appropriate for patients who are well enough to be discharged from the hospital but require a level of care to be provided within their home
Qualifying for home care
People who need part-time nursing services or rehabilitative services and are not able to get this care in any other setting, such as an outpatient clinic, might qualify for home care. Your clinical resource coordinator can help you look into the many state and local community social services that may support you at home. Examples are Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care and transportation assistance.
Paying for home care
- Medicare: Medicare fully covers professional services as long as the care is necessary and ordered by your doctor. There is a 20% insurance co-payment for equipment.
- Medicaid: Medicaid will pay for home care as long as the home care agency is a state-contracted Medicaid provider. There may be some restrictions.
- Commercial insurance: Coverage varies by policy. Your care manager (clinical resource coordinator or social worker) can help you find out what coverage you might have. Most insurance policies have a home care benefit, and professional care is covered. You may be responsible for a co-payment.
- No insurance: You pay or you may be able to get assistance (such as Medicaid). A social worker can help you apply for assistance.
Arranging for home care
Your care manager will work with you and your family to select the right agency for you. The care manager will contact the agency and provide them with the necessary clinical, social, and insurance information for them to meet your needs.
When you leave the hospital you will receive discharge instructions that will include a list of your medications, and the name and number of the agency that will provide your service.
Length of home care
Your doctor orders a treatment plan. Your goals and progress will determine how long you will qualify for home care services. Supportive social services will be looked at on a regular basis and are dependent on the resources in your area.
- Home care is part-time care. It does not provide 24-hour care, and in many cases will not provide daily care. If that is what is required in order for you to stay at home, you will need to supplement the services with family, friends or private help.
- Your care needs may mean that more than one agency will be involved in your care at home. One agency may deliver supplies and equipment while another may provide the professional staff.
- Resources are limited and it takes time to plan, so starting early is important!