Learn about Home Health Care
Home health care agencies provide medical and skilled nursing services in clients' homes. To learn about non-medical in-home services, see Home Care Services.
What is home health care?
Home health care services include health assessments, consumer education about health-related topics, cleaning and dressing wounds, operating medical equipment like IVs, and giving medication. Some providers offer physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapies. Many home health care agencies can arrange for home adaptations like installing grab bars in a shower. They may also be able to help you obtain medical equipment such as a hospital bed or oxygen tank.
Home health care must be prescribed by a physician. If your doctor orders this type of care, it is then provided in your home by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), and other health professionals. These providers may also enlist the assistance of a home health aide who, working under their supervision, can provide help with personal care such as bathing and toileting.
What should I look for when choosing a home health agency?
Consider asking for agency names and recommendations from friends, family, your doctor, or others who are familiar with services in your community. Before you call or visit an agency, you may wish to print copies of GetCare's Home Health Care Checklist. It includes detailed questions to help you learn about and compare agencies.
How do I pay for home health care?
Usually, individuals receiving home health care services pay for these services themselves. Some health insurance and long term care insurance plans cover home health care, and short-term services may be covered by Medicaid or Medicare.