Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: What is home health care?
ANSWER: Home health care is healthcare services that are delivered in a patient's home. It is prescribed by a doctor for one of the following reasons:
- An individual was recently discharged from a hospital or long-term care facility, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center.
- A doctor determines that an individual has a need for nursing or therapy at home.
Home health care helps patients get better, reach a level of independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. For those with long-term health problems, the goal is to maintain the highest level of ability and learn to live with an illness or disability.
Home healthcare services generally include skilled nursing, rehabilitation and assistance with the activities of daily living. The service must be ordered by the patient's doctor in order for it to be covered by insurance.
QUESTION: If my doctor recommends and writes an order for home care, will I receive the services?
ANSWER: In most cases, you will receive homecare services. However, there are circumstances when homecare services are difficult to arrange due to:
- Homecare company's inability to provide the care you need
- Coverage limitations set by your insurance company
- Geographic area where you wish to receive services
If homecare services cannot be arranged, your doctor will make alternative arrangements. Some of these alternatives may include:
- Outpatient rehabilitation center
- Rehabilitation hospital
- Rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility
QUESTION: How do I qualify to receive homecare services?
ANSWER: To receive medical care at home, your doctor must write an order for home care. You must be considered in need of skilled services that can be performed by either a nurse or a therapist on an intermittent basis. You must be experiencing difficulty leaving your home due to physical or mental limitations, thus needing care to come to you.
QUESTION: Does my insurance cover home care?
ANSWER: Most insurance companies cover the cost of skilled care at home. However, your insurance benefits may vary based on the policy you hold. In some cases, you may have a co-pay. Your discharge planner and homecare consultant will help you to get this information.
QUESTION: How is my care coordinated when I am discharged from a hospital?
ANSWER: A hospital discharge planner will work with a homecare consultant to make arrangements for your home care. Once you select a homecare company, the homecare consultant will contact that company. To determine if they can provide care to you, the consultant will ask:
- Does this company serve the geographic area where you want to receive care?
- Can they provide care within the timeframe suggested by your doctor?
- Do they accept your insurance?
QUESTION: Who do I contact if I have questions?
ANSWER: If you are being discharged from a hospital, skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility, a discharge planner from the facility will contact you about your care after discharge. If you have further questions regarding the coordination of homecare services, please discuss them with your discharge planner or homecare consultant.
For more information or to refer a patient to MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166.