‘Home Care’ versus ‘Home Health Care’?

There are two basic types of home care services – licensed home health care and private duty home care services.  The distinctions between home health care and private duty home care are important for clients and their families to understand to help make an informed decision about the type of solution best for them.  The following information is provided to help educate consumers and offer assistance.

Home health care is medically-focused care that is usually covered by Medicare and other types of health insurance whereas private duty care is usually not.

In order to be eligible for home health care coverage under Medicare

  • Patient must be homebound, as defined very specifically by Medicare.
  • Care must be ordered by a physician.
  • Care must be provided by a state-licensed, Medicare-certified agency providing skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.
  • Home health care clinicians provide the services prescribed by an approved care plan.  The care is highly skilled and delivered by specially trained clinicians who provide nursing or therapy services.

On the other hand, private duty home care includes personal care and companionship services and does not require a physician’s order because it is non-medical in nature.  Private duty agencies are not limited by the rules of Medicare since Medicare does not pay the bill.  It is paid for out of pocket by the client, their family, their Trust Office at the bank, by a long term care policy if one is in effect, or by such government programs such as the Aid in Attendance Veterans program, if applicable.

Both types of care are incredibly valuable and contributes to the comfort and well-being of an individual.  Medicare covers medically necessary home health care for conditions that are expected to improve, only for a limited time and only when necessary to treat an illness or injury.  If you don’t qualify for home health care, do not or no longer need skilled care as described above, or perhaps you have gotten better but still need assistance with daily activities to lead a thriving live in the comfort of home – such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, running errands, light housekeeping, etc. – then private duty care is the solution.  Unlike in a home health setting where visit times and duration are limited or directed, the choice is yours because you pick the times and days you want help (from a few hours at a time to 24/7) and the duration of service – from a few days of recuperation to an ongoing arrangement.

Similar to temporary Medicare covered home health, Casa Companion Homecare Solutions can be a short-term solution to fill an immediate need.  But we can also offer so much more because we can also be your long term partner to ensuring an independent quality of life at home.