FAQ’s About Home Health Care

What is home health care?

Home health care provides temporary medical treatments for an illness or injury, with the goal of helping you recover, regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. More than just providing excellent care in your home, home health care also saves billions of dollars each year. There is no more cost-effective provider of health care in our country.

Ohana Home Health offers skilled services such as certified nursing assistants, registered nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral health and speech therapy. Our services require a physician’s referral. When using Medicare Part A, there is little to no cost, no co-pay and no deductible.

What is the difference between Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part A covers hospitals, home health care, Hospice and nursing facilities. Part B is medical coverage for outpatient visits, prevention, lab work and medical equipment. For a simply written and complete definition read pages 5 and 6 of the Center for Medicare Services booklet on home health.

Who is eligible for home health care?
 

There are several requirements for receiving home health care:

You must have a doctor’s referral for home health care.

You must need either skilled nursing care on an intermittent basis or therapy services (i.e., physical/occupational/speech therapy)

You must be restricted in your ability to leave home (“homebound”), and your homebound status must be certified by a physician.

This means that you require the help or supervision of another person, or you use a supportive device such as a cane or walker. You can leave the home as often as you need for medical treatment. You are allowed brief and infrequent absences from the home for some non-medical reasons, such as an occasional trip to the barber/beauty shop or a walk around the block.

More detailed information about eligibility is available in The Center for Medicare and Medicard Services guide, “Medicare and Home Health Care (PDF).”

Who pays for home health care services?

If you meet certain eligibility requirements, Medicare may pay for your covered home health care for as long as you’re eligible and your doctor certifies that you need it.

The Hawaii Medicaid program or your private insurance may cover home health care, or some services that Medicare doesn’t cover. Check with your Hawaii Medicaid program or insurance company to learn about their specific eligibility requirements.

What does “homebound status” mean?

According to the Center for Medicare Services, homebound means:

Leaving your home isn’t recommended because of your condition.

Your condition keeps you from leaving home without help (such as using a wheelchair or walker, needing special transportation, or getting help from another person).

Leaving home takes a considerable and taxing effort.

For a patient friendly and rich resource please download the CMS booklet on home health. It’s written in an accessible way that frames complex ideas simply. You’ll feel empowered after reading it and make better decisions for yourself or loved one because you read it.

With homebound status you can leave the home as often as you need for medical treatment that cannot be provided in the home. And you are allowed brief and infrequent absences from the home for some non-medical reasons, such as an occasional trip to the barber/beauty shop, to attend church, or for unique family events (like a wedding).

What can I expect on the first home health care visit?
 

Once we receive your physician’s referral, we send one of our healthcare team to perform an assessment, which is a big word for a simple head-to-toe evaluation used to develop a care plan based on your needs. Once we have your plan of care we schedule therapists to visit your home. At Ohana Home Health, this thorough interview and evaluation is part of our coordinated approach to managing your overall health status. Our evaluation focuses on educating you in self-care management and partners with your doctor to promote disease prevention and proactive care – which includes the family or caregivers.

This team approach facilitates an easier transition for you from a hospital or nursing facility to your home, and actively engages you and your caregivers in your health care.

How often will my home health care visits be?

The frequency of home health care visits and the services provided are based on your personal plan of care. Your doctor may change your plan of care, increasing or decreasing the number of visits or services provided, in order to provide you with the best home health care for your needs. The period of time is referred to as an episode. An episode lasts 60 days.

Does Ohana Home Health provide services island-wide?

Yes. We send therapists to every corner of Kauai.

How is “home” defined when home health care is being considered?

A patient’s residence is wherever they make their home. This may be a house, an apartment, a relative’s home, a home for the aged, or some other type of institution. However, a hospital, skilled nursing facility (SNF) or intermediate care facility (ICF) is not considered the patient’s home.

What’s the difference between home care, home health care and hospice care?

Home care agencies perform household and personal care services, like preparing meals, cleaning, and helping with bathing or dressing.

Home health care, such as Ohana Home Health, provides medical treatment for an illness or injury, with the goal of helping you recover, regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible.

Home health care can also help you live with a chronic condition, like heart disease, COPD, or Parkinson’s Disease. Home health care can include some personal care services, like help bathing and dressing, as part of the plan of care ordered by your doctor.

Hospice care is designed to provide non-curative treatment and comfort for those who are facing a life-limiting illness. It offers a support system of medical, social, psychological, and spiritual services that support a patient, their family, and other loved ones.

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