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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is homecare?
    Homecare refers in general to a complete range of medical and nonmedical services provided in the home.
  2. Who is eligible for homecare?
    Anyone who is deemed "homebound" according to Medicare guidelines and has physician orders for service is eligible for homecare. Private insurance has its own qualifications, so you should talk with your provider. Private duty services do not require that the patient meet the homebound eligibility standards and can be arranged for directly between family and homecare provider.
  3. Is home care covered by insurance?
    Homecare is covered by Medicare Part A, Medicaid and private insurance. To check for coverage, call your insurance provider.
  4. Is homecare only for elderly people?
    People of all ages benefit from homecare. In fact, some of the fastest growing areas of homecare involve post-surgical (any age), maternity, and pediatrics.
  5. What services are available with homecare?

    Typical homecare services include:
    - Skilled nursing
    - Physical therapy
    - Occupational therapy
    - Home health aides
    - Speech and language pathology
    - Medical social services
    - Dietary counseling
    - Patient and family education
    - Medical supplies and appliances
  6. What are the most common conditions and diagnoses for which homecare is used?

    Common conditions for which homecare is prescribed include:
    - Post surgery situations
    - Cardiac problems
    - Pneumonia
    - Hip and knee replacements
    - Stroke
    - Cancer
    - Diabetes
  7. What does the homecare admission process involve?
    Orders are received from the patient's physician for the care to be provided. A registered nurse makes the first visit to the home to discuss the plan of care and do an assessment.
  8. How do homecare and hospice differ?
    In general, hospice focuses on end-of-life issues, emphasizing comfort and closure. This is often referred to as palliative care. Homecare more often focuses on treatment and recovery. This is most often referred to as curative care.
  9. Who is eligible for hospice?

    Typically, eligibility for hospice is based on two conditions:
    - The individual's physician has established a prognosis of limited life expectancy, usually six months or less.
    - Physician and family agree on a palliative (versus curative) course of care.
  10. How are hospice services paid for?
    Medicare recipients are entitled to hospice care. Most medical insurances and HMOs offer hospice benefits. You should contact your insurance company to determine coverage.

Last Updated: 8/31/2011