Usually, once your doctor refers you for home health services, staff from the home health agency will come to your residence to talk with you about your needs and ask some questions about your health. The home health agency will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep him updated about your progress. An order from your doctor is needed to begin care.
Your Plan of Care
The home health agency will work with you and your doctor to develop your plan of care. This lists what kinds of services and care you should get for your health issue. You have the right to be involved in any decisions about your treatment.
Your plan of care should include the following:
- What services do you need?
- What healthcare professionals should give these services?
- How often will you need the services?
- What medical equipment do you need?
- What results does your doctor expect from your treatment?
Your doctor and home health agency staff should review your plan of care often (at least once every 60 days). If your health condition changes, the home health staff should tell your doctor right away. The home health agency should only change your plan of care with your physician’s approval and they should tell you about any changes in your plan of care. If you have questions about your care or feel that your needs aren’t being met, talk to both your doctor and the home health agency.
We all want to maintain the best possible health while remaining independent in our own homes. Home Health Agencies, or HHAs, help older adults meet this goal by providing healthcare services to ill, disabled or vulnerable individuals right in their residences.
HHAs offer services such as:
- physical, occupational and speech therapy
- personal caregivers
- home health aides and nursing
- social work
Medicare may pay for services provided by HHAs that are approved for certification by the Federal Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). See below for a partial list of HHAs licensed by the Department of Health in Pennsylvania.
Who can get Medicare-covered home healthcare?
If your doctor decides that you need medical care at home and the home health agency caring for you is Medicare-certified, you can receive services. You must need any of the following services and must be homebound, or unable to leave home without help.
What services does home healthcare cover?
Skilled nursing care—that is, services and care that can only be performed by a registered or licensed practical nurse.
Home health aide services—these aides support nurses by providing help with personal care tasks.
Physical therapy—includes exercise to regain movement and strengthen a body area, and training on how to do daily activities.
Speech-language therapy—to regain and strengthen speech skills.
Occupational therapy—to help with usual daily activities, including learning new ways to eat, put on clothes, etc.
Medical social services—to help you with social and emotional concerns related to an illness.
Certain medical supplies—like wound dressing (but not prescription drugs).
Durable medical equipment—such as a wheelchair or walker.
Who orders home healthcare services?
Most often, your doctor, social worker or hospital discharge planner will help arrange for Medicare-covered home health care. You have a say, however, in which home healthcare agency you use.
Visit medicare.gov/coverage/home-health-services.html for details about home healthcare coverage and Medicare benefits.
Beaver County Home Health Agencies
Allegheny Network Healthcare at Home
Anova Health Care System
Concordia Visiting Nurses
Gallagher Home Health
Progressive Home Health
VNA Western PA