Most frequent questions and answers
Home health services are brought to patients who require intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services or continued occupational services, as prescribed by their doctor. The patient’s progress must be documented and is assessed frequently. Services are provided in the home only.
Hospice care is comfort care for patients with a prognosis of six months and facing a life limiting illness or disease. Hospice care can be provided in the patient’s home or in a facility.
Home health agencies bring their services to the private homes of patients in need of skilled care related to their diagnosis or following surgery which include, but are limited to, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, speech/language pathologists, physical therapists and occupational therapists and dietary counseling.
Hospice patients receive services either at home or in a facility whether that be assisted living facility or nursing home and are under the care of a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, volunteer and bereavement specialist—who come to the patient’s home more frequently and offer support for not only the patient but the patient’s families.
Home Health is for short term needs and the length of service is determined by the goals of care. The amount, frequency and time period of the services need to be reasonable and the condition must improve or be maintained through therapy.
Hospice care is more frequent. The patient receives unlimited visits for six months or longer, as long as the patient continues to have a limited life expectancy, as determined by a physician
Home Health is exactly as it sounds, assistance given in the patient’s home and cannot be given to patients in a long-term care facility.
Hospice care is provided wherever the patient is: whether that be at home or a facility.
Home Health visits are scheduled and usually occur during the day. On-call is available 24/7 to assist if needed or questions arise.
Hospice visits are more frequent and could require care during the night or early morning hours. During a life limiting illness, doctors and nurses realize that care if needed more frequently. On-call is available 24/7 to assist and send out medical help if needed.
Home Health, medications are not covered for patients.
Hospice, Medicare covers all medication both prescription and over the counter drugs related to the primary life limiting diagnosis.