Homecare – Basic Education

‘Homecare’ – Sounds simple.  What exactly does the word mean?

The reality is this; different people will use the word differently.  The important thing to remember when referring to the word ‘homecare’ is to consider your source.

When shopping for homecare…keep a couple points in mind and you’ll understand the information better.  This is keeping the discussion in the simplest form.

There are basically two types of homecare that people in the industry are referring to when using the term.

1.  Medicare Home Health (Homecare) – See Medicare.gov here.

2.  Private Duty Homecare

The first, ‘Medicare Home Health,’ is generally going to be paid by Medicare and is done on a per-visit basis.  A typical visit may last UP to two hours but generally a one hour visit is pretty typical.  Generally speaking, there will be two to three visits per week approved.  This type of service is going to be ordered by a physician and will have a start and end date.  At the end of the approved timeframe, another order for service must be obtained by the physician to continue service.

The second reference to homecare is ‘Private Duty Homecare.’  This is where the schedule can last for a few hours up to 24 hours per assignment.  This is generally either paid by long term care insurance or out of pocket, also referred to as private pay.  This type of service is ongoing and paid directly by the person receiving the care.

If the person paying for the service has a long term care insurance policy, often-times there will be a homecare component that will reimburse up to a certain amount per day.  An example of this would be a policy that has a daily maximum of $110.00 per day.  If the agency providing service is charging $24.00 per hour, the policy would pay for approximately 4.5 hours of service each day.  We will cover long term care insurance as well as other payment sources in a future article.  When referring to long term care insurance and paying for homecare services, people are usually referring to ‘Private Duty Homecare.’

When Does The Caregiver Come To Help?

When using in-home caregiving services, setting the schedule is usually done differently depending on the type of service you are receiving.

When Medicare home health is involved, there may not be as much flexibility in determining the schedule.  A common task of this type of service is a bath visit.  This is where an agency would send in a caregiver to assist with a bath and then leave.  You would normally be able to set the days of the week that they come, but not necessarily the time at which they come.

When using a private duty agency, the schedule is usually flexible and determined by the client.  Usually shifts last a few hours up to 24 hours a day.  Days of the week are set by the client as well as what time of day the caregiver comes.

Again, this is a general overview of how schedules are set and each company or agency may operate differently.

Have Your Questions Ready

When starting your research on determining who is going to be able to best-assist mom and her care, have a list of prepared questions to ask when contacting the various companies’.

This is a very personal service you are looking for, do your due-diligence.