Home Health Care Agencies Explained
Home health care agencies often get lumped together with home care agencies, but they are two distinct types of service. Home health care agencies provide “medical care” while home care agencies provide “non-medical care”. Although, some home health care agencies provide non-medical care as an additional service offering.
Another distinction is that home health care is most often provided by a skilled medical practitioner such as a registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or other medical professional while non-medical home care is given typically by caregivers.
Home health care is used by thousands of people every day who require at home medical care and monitoring. They include patients who are recovering from a hospital stay or surgery, people who are disabled, and people who are chronically or terminally ill. Home health care is often less expensive and as effective as the type of care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF).
In order to get set up with a home health care provider, doctor’s orders are needed. Upon referral, the home health agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to talk to you about your needs and health issues. Home health care agencies care for patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
Services provided by home health care agencies can include:
- Skilled nursing
- Pain management / Administering medications
- Wound care
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Medical social services and counseling
- Home health aide services
- Behavioral and mental health counseling
- Hospice and palliative care
- Educational advice
- Home safety review and instructions
- And more…
Please note that different states have different requirements with how home health agencies are regulated. Be sure to thoroughly vet any agency you plan on hiring. Your doctor or hospital should have a list of recommendations.