Home Health

Key Information on Home Health

Home Health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Home health is intermittent usually only lasting a couple of weeks to 60 days. Doctor’s orders are needed to start care. Once your doctor refers you for home health services, the home health agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to talk to you about your needs and ask you some questions about your health. (Medicare requires the patient be seen by the doctor at least 90 days before services begin for the illness or injury that the Home Health services are needed for).

Older Person having Blood Pressure Checked — Benton County Health Department — Warsaw, MO

You Must Need, and a Doctor Must Certify that You Need One or More of the Following:

Intermittent Skilled Nursing Care

Physical Therapy

Speech-Language Pathology Services

  • You must be homebound, and a doctor must certify that you’re homebound. To be homebound means the following:
  • Leaving your home isn’t recommended because of your condition.
  • Your condition keeps you from leaving home without help (such as using a wheelchair or walker, needing special transportation, or getting help from another person).
  • Leaving home requires a considerable and taxing effort.
  • A person may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, such as attending religious services. You can still get home health care if you attend adult day care, however you would get the home care services in your home.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing service is a service that must be provided by a registered nurse, or a licensed practical (vocational) nurse under the supervision of a registered nurse, to be safe and effective. In determining whether a service requires the skills of a nurse, consider both the inherent complexity of the service, the condition of the patient, and accepted standards of medical and nursing practice. Some services may be classified as a skilled nursing service on the basis of complexity alone, e.g., intravenous and intramuscular injections or insertion of catheters, and if reasonable and necessary to the treatment of the patient’s illness or injury, would be covered on that basis. However, in some cases, the condition of the patient may cause a service that would ordinarily be considered unskilled to be considered a skilled nursing service. This would occur when the patient’s condition is such that the service can be safely and effectively provided only by a nurse.

  • Health Assessments including blood pressure monitoring and other vital signs, glucose monitoring, post-operation monitoring and telemonitoring
  • Teaching about diseases and treatment
  • Wound care
  • Dressing changes
  • Ostomy/colostomy teaching and management
  • IV management
  • Medication reconciliation and reports to doctors or pharmacists
  • Medication administration
  • Injections
  • Heparin flushes
  • Foot care
  • Management of urinary catheters
  • Management of tubes, drains and bags


Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy: Physical Therapy Home health: A Physical therapist specializes in the musculoskeletal system and provides individualized assessment and treatments to clients to relieve pain, restore function, prevent further debility and develop a rehabilitation plan to improve strength, endurance and ambulation. Our Physical Therapists are specialists in rehabilitating patient requiring Orthopedic care ( post- operative care such as joint replacements, lumbar surgeries, fractures etc. ) , Neurologic care ( such as Stroke, Parkinson’s, Multiple sclerosis etc. ), and Geriatric care ( such as deconditioning, weakness, falls etc. ). Our main goal is about keeping you safe in the home for a successful recovery. Occupational Therapy Home health: Occupational therapists evaluate the client’s ability to manage daily activities such as bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, eating, meal preparation and more. They also assists clients regain fine motor coordination, psychosocial independence and help teach energy conservation to reduce risk of injury or further decline. Our Occupational Therapists also provides assistance in getting the right adaptive equipment and home modifications to enable clients to stay in their home as long as possible. Speech Therapy Home Health: Speech therapists also known as Speech Language Pathologists provides assessment and treatment of communication disorders, swallowing difficulty and cognitive impairment. Their services include speech-language training, non – oral communication, voice/speech production, eating/swallowing strategies, feeding diet modifications, cognition etc. Our speech therapist also provides education to family and caregivers to achieve optimum communication, and teach compensatory strategies to guide them through in the proper care for the clients.

Social Work

Home health services provided by Medical Social Workers (MSWs) are covered by Medicare as a dependent service. This means there must first be a “qualifying skilled service” in the home such as intermittent skilled nursing services, physical therapy, speech-language pathology or continuing occupational therapy services. If the qualifications are met, and the beneficiary has an impediment to his or her recovery (think of a roadblock) that takes the skills of a MSW to remove, MSW services would be covered. MSW can assess the social and emotional factors related to the beneficiary’s illness, the need for care, their response to treatment as well as adjustment to care. Financial resources as well as community resources that may be available are also within the realm of MSW practice for home care. Other than Medicare, most insurance companies require authorization for MSW services.  The following activities are considered covered medical social services:

Assessment of the social and emotional factors related to the beneficiary’s illness, the need for care, their response to treatment, and adjustment to care

Assessment of the relationship of the medical and nursing requirements to the home situation, financial resources, and the community resources available

Services provided on a short-term basis (two to three visits) to a beneficiary’s family member or caregiver when it is shown that a brief intervention is necessary to remove a clear and direct impediment to the effective treatment of the beneficiary’s medical condition or to the rate of recovery

Appropriate action to obtain available community resources to assist in resolving the beneficiary’s problem

Exception: Medicare does not cover the services of a medical social worker to complete or assist in the completion of an application for Medicaid. Federal regulations require the state to provide assistance in completing the application to anyone who chooses to apply for Medicaid counseling services.


Home Health Aides will assist with bathing and dressing, personal care, transfers, and ambulation. A Home Health Aide visit usually lasts 45 minutes to one hour. Home health aides help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment with activities of daily living.

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