The Difference Between Home Care and Home Health

» Posted by on Sep 25, 2019 in Home Health | 0 comments

It’s easy to confuse home health with home care, as both are health care services that are provided right at the comfort of the patient’s home. However, there are distinct differences between these two. Essentially, you can’t really refer to them interchangeably.  

Using the simplest definition, home health is a type of clinical care service while home care is non-clinical. With that simple definition, you might already know that the services provided in a home health setting are provided by licensed medical professionals, such as registered nurses and physical therapists, among others.  

Home care, on the other hand, is services that are provided by caregivers. These health care providers are usually referred to as home care aides, and they are trained to understand and provide for all the needs of seniors. They usually help them with their daily activities, such as walking and doing light household chores. 

Home Health versus Home Care  

Home health services are more specialized, as they’re mostly provided by licensed therapists and registered nurses. Some of the services included here are the administration of IV and oral medications, performance of the medical tests, caring for wounds, and monitoring the patient’s health status.  

Home care, on the other hand, is not as technical. Some of the most common tasks provided by caregivers include assistance with their daily activities, meal preparation, and grooming. This type of care is recommended for individuals that live alone and need a companion.  

Which Should You Get? 

You must get home health if the patient is recently released from the hospital but may still require rehabilitation or help before they can get back to their usual way of living. For senior patients, home health becomes necessary if there’s a need to monitor their health continuously while medicating. Patients who have experienced a general decline their mental and physical functioning may seek this service to possibly regain their independence through therapy.  

Home care is much less complicated than home health. Here, the services provided are not limited to meal preparation and grooming. The aides may also be requested to clean the house and do some errands. They may also drive the patient to their doctor’s appointment and remind them to take their medicines.  

Other Facts about Home Care and Home Health  

Home health is considered a medical care service, which is why many medical insurances cover it. This service is covered if it is prescribed by the attending physician and if the individual is qualified. There are instances wherein home health is requested by the patient but not the physician. In this case, it won’t be covered by the insurance, and the patient would have to cover the expenses.  

Home care, on the other hand, is mostly a private pay setting. It may be covered by certain insurances, particularly the ones that comes with a long-term care rider. In rare instances, Medicaid covers it for qualified seniors with low income.  

Even so, it’s important to note that home care and home health aren’t mutually exclusive, which means you have to choose either one or both. A home care provider won’t be able to provide you with home health services and vice versa.  

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