Stay Updated About The Changing Scenario Of Home Health Care Industry

Stay Updated About The Changing Scenario Of Home Health Care Industry

The scenario of the home health care industry is ever-changing and therefore you should stay updated with it, in case you need to hire such a service for your loved elderly parents. It is seen that over the last decade, not only the number of such home care service providers have increased but it has grown even more complex.

The role of the nurses, assistants, and others involved in-home care services has increasingly become more prominent and important. In today’s home health care landscape you will even find nurses providing acute care to people who are removing from surgery or suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

About home care

You will find varied and many definitions of home care just as you will find a large number of agencies providing home care Philadelphia. There are many different things done by home caregivers such as:

  • Making home visits to offer wound care
  • Providing other hands-on and skilled care
  • Visiting at-risk teenage mothers and their babies
  • Staying and providing meals to frail elders
  • Doing light housekeeping and
  • Assisting with other important activities of daily living.

All of these activities typically may fall under the broad umbrella of home care.

The quality factor

However broad as is the periphery of home care, the quality of services and result-driven initiatives have taken a serious effect due to the decrease in the government reimbursements, pay-for-performance, and other outcomes.

Ideally, home care should integrate prevention with the community. Keeping this in mind, the US Public Health Service requires home care to be provided to families and individuals in their places of residence. This must be provided for varied purposes such as:

  • Promoting, maintaining, and restoring the health of the individual
  • Maximizing the level of independence
  • Minimizing the effects of illness, surgery, disability and even terminal illness.

Such care may be provided by Medicaid or Medicare-certified home health agencies but there may be other players as well. There are different types of home care including those that are provided by:

  • Visiting nurse associations
  • Hospice nurses making home visits
  • Community health nurses providing at-risk mothers with well-child care and others.

There may be also a few organizations that are usually termed as nonmedical home care providers who provide such services with their own aides or companions. They help frail elders with different daily activities and stay safe in their homes. These special home care service providers assist in non-medical jobs especially that include:

  • Bathing
  • Hair washing
  • Shopping
  • Meal preparation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Clean up and several different types of personal care.

The prime objective of these non-medical home care service providers is to help the patients to stay in their homes.

The Role of Medicare

Medicare happens to be the largest payer of home care services. There are a few things that you should know about it as well.

  • This is actually a federal health insurance program that is aimed at the people who are 65 years old or more than that.
  • However, the government allows younger people to join such a program in specific situations such as a patient suffering from end-stage renal disease or have some sort of disability.

Medicare has very strict coverage criteria and rules for home care services as there are services and hospital covered days. Apart from the complex nature of these rules and regulations, these restrictions are also changing constantly. This makes it difficult for a common person to know about it. For example, in the 2015 budget, President Obama proposed provisions to be included for copayments and additional cuts for home care to Medicare. However, if these provisions were enacted, then these changes and those significant ones that existed could have devastating effects on the patients and their families.

The team and services

For any homebound patient that satisfies the eligibility criteria for skilled home care certified by Medicare may enjoy a variety of services from the home caregiver. It may include:

  • Nursing services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy and other daily activities as required.

All these services provided by the home health aides who are also called the medical social workers have a defined scope.

Just as the specific types of care provided by these professionals are varied and extensive so are the health care team members. A professional home health care team may consist of one or all of the following:

  • Medical director
  • Registered nurses
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Licensed practical nurse
  • Licensed vocational nurse
  • Physical therapy assistant
  • Speech therapist
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Dietitian or nutritionist
  • Wound, Ostomy, and continence nurse.

Though all these team members will be highly and professionally trained, there may be a few specific cases when home care services are needed to be provided under the close supervision of a qualified and licensed doctor with periodic consultation.

The first visit

Ideally, in order to ensure that you get the best results, it is the first visit to the home care nurse that is most important. This is the stage which facilitates proper and accurate evaluation and assessment of the situation. According to that the time of the admission visit will be determined, whether it will be longer or shorter.

  • The process starts with collecting all basic information and insurance verification.
  • Next, the nurse will ask for the history of the patient in-depth.
  • After that, the nurse will perform a series of a comprehensive assessment.

You must know at this point that such assessments are mandatory for all Medicare and Medicaid patients that too by using the OASIS-C or Outcome and Assessment Information Set tool.

Lastly, the nurse will review various forms of the patients and ask to sign them. These forms include:

  • The consent form
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act form
  • Patients’ rights and responsibilities form
  • Insurance and related release forms and
  • An advance directive.

All, these have made home health care safer, better and more productive. With the periphery of home health care expanding continually, it is especially important for you as well as the nurses providing acute care to work together more effectively and closely to achieve the desired results.