What professionals might you see in a home health setting?

Home care includes any professional support service that allows a person to live safely in their home. Home care services can help a person who is aging and needs assistance to live independently; is managing chronic health problems; is recovering from a medical setback or has special needs or a disability. Professional caregivers, such as nurses, aides, and therapists, provide short-term or long-term care at home, depending on the person's needs. home health care is a formal and regulated care program offered by various health professionals in the patient's home.

It is also a Medicare benefit, provided certain requirements are met. For many reasons, the need for home health care has grown rapidly over the past decade (Table. Between 1980 and 1996, the number of patients receiving Medicare-sponsored home care increased by more than 400 percent, and the number of agencies providing that care increased by more than 200 percent (Table. House calls refer to home visits by doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide medical services.

These in-home evaluations can increase the health care provider's knowledge of the elderly person's circumstances and home environment. This can allow them to see and address issues that aren't obvious during an office visit. For example, there may be barriers that prevent an elderly person from performing as well as they could, such as crowded hallways or a house that has no guardrails when they should. Despite experiments conducted by The Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York and Blue Cross to include home care services, coverage for home care was not universally offered at the time (Buhler-Wilkerson).

When caregivers are followed prospectively throughout this progression, strong evidence emerges that the intermediate phase, in which caregivers' responsibilities are very intense, produces the most profound health-related effects. Similarly, the burden of paperwork that accompanies something as simple as admission to a home care agency strongly affects professional caregivers. Home health care, often simply referred to as home health, is specialized care delivered directly to the patient's home. There are rules about how you qualify for home health care, especially if you want it covered by your Medicare insurance or plan.

Durable medical equipment (the table) is covered by home health benefits, although the beneficiary is responsible for 20 percent of the cost. Some home health services offer self-care assistance at home at an additional cost, which may or may not be covered by insurance or Medicare. Personal and home care aides and home health aides are among the 10 fastest-growing jobs in the United States. Schulz noted that assessing the need for home health care should be a factor in the ongoing debate on health care reforms.

If you have Original Medicare, you may be able to get home health care at no cost (although you could pay up to 20% of the Medicare-approved cost for durable medical equipment). However, several methodological problems in these studies may lead to an underestimation of the relationship between caregiving and health effects. Family members are encouraged to actively participate in the planning process to help set and meet goals, working with home health professionals for the benefit of the patient. Improving these technologies would save time, improve the accuracy of data collected, improve care plans developed from that data, and improve home health care monitoring and reporting.

Even experienced health professionals who need to coordinate the care of a parent or sibling may find it extremely difficult to access complex and fragmented health and social service delivery systems. The home health aide is in regular communication with a case manager or other supervisor; and documentation is a vital part of their job. .

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