Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)
Q. What is Home Care?
A. Home care refers to a wide range of health and social services. These services are delivered at home to recovering, disabled, chronically or terminally ill persons in need of medical, nursing, physical therapy, social services or assistance with activities of daily living.
Home care is appropriate when a person needs ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends, but does not need to be in a hospital. More and more older people, electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are receiving home care services as their physical capabilities diminish.
As hospital stays decrease, increasing numbers of patients need highly skilled services when they return home. Other patients are able to stay at home, receiving safe and effective care in the comfort of their own homes.
Q. What is "homebound" status?
A. Homebound definition includes:
- The patient's condition must be such that leaving the home requires an extremely taxing effort.
- In most instances a "homebound" patient's absence from home will occur for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.
- Absences are infrequent, are of relatively short duration and do not indicate that the patient has the capacity to obtain health care provided outside rather than inside the home.
- If patient's condition, due to an illness or injury, restricts the patient's ability to leave home except with the aid of supportive device: cane, wheelchair, walker, maximum assistance of another person.
- If patient's condition is such that leaving home is medically contradicted.
- Any absence for religious services is deemed to be an absence of infrequent or short duration, and thus does not negate homebound status.
Q. Can I choose a home health care provider?
A. According to Federal law, home health care patients have the freedom to choose which agency or person will provide their home care services. Section 1802 of the Social Security Act "seeks to ensure that free choice is guaranteed to all Medicare Patients." The law states: "Any individual entitled to insurance benefits under this title [i.e., Medicare] may obtain health services from any institution, agency, or person qualified to participate under this title if such institution, agency, or person undertakes to provide him such services."
Q. How can home care services be initiated?
A. Home care services can be initiated with a physician’s order. If a patient is in the hospital, a discharge planner will facilitate the referral process prior to discharge. Once we receive the order, our nurse will schedule a visit to do an initial evaluation. The nurse will relay her findings to the doctor and make recommendations for care.
Q. Does a patient have to be hospitalized in order to be entitled to home care?
A. Patients don't have to be hospitalized to be entitled tohome care. Your physician can make a referral after a clinic visit or whenever he determines that there is a need for services.
Q. Who will pay for the services?
A. Services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross blue Shield, and other private insurances. Prior to providing services, we will verify coverage with Medicare or private insurance carrier. We do accept private pay as well.
Q. Will personal information be kept private?
A. Care Choice and all each contractual providers are HIPPA (Health Information Privacy and Portability Act) compliant. We safeguard personal and medical information by making them available only to staff members who are involved in direct care.
Q. How frequent are the visits and for how long?
A. Frequency of visits will be based on your medical condition, treatment, and procedures that are necessary to patient care. Visits are normally 45 minutes to 1 hour. Services will go on for 60 days and can be renewed if needed.
Q. Will care providers call for appointments?
A. Care providers will call for appointments at least a day ahead. They have to be notified of other appointments so they can adjust their schedule.
Q. Will physicians be involved?
A. A physician will oversee home care and will be updated on a patient's progress. All medical orders will come from him/her.
Q. Are family members involved?
A. Since home health care is an intermittent type of service, patients and their family are expected to participate in their care. Our staff members are here to educate, train and assist patients in managing their condition, treatment, and other procedures that needs to be done in the home.
Q. Are medical supplies and durable equipments covered?
A. Most supplies and Durable Medical Equipments are covered by Medicare and other insurances. We will let the patient know if certain items are not covered.
Q. If a patient is admitted to the hospital, will services resume after discharge?
A. While a patient is in the hospital we will be in contact with family members and their physician. Upon discharge, we will request discharge information from the hospital so we can continue with homecare when they get home.
Q. What happens if a patient gets better?
A. Our staff will do an ongoing evaluation of their condition. If they determine that they are well enough to take care of themselves, they will ask the physician for an order to discharge a patient from the program.
Q. Can services be cancelled?
A. Patients or their family has the right to make decisions regarding their care. They have the right to cancel services anytime and for whatever reason.