Home Health

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Home Health Care?

Home Health care is an excellent, cost-effective alternative to hospital or other institutional care. Service is based on the individual’s needs as defined by his or her doctor’s plan of care. This may include visits from skilled nurses, therapists, social workers and/or home health aides.

What are the advantages of home health care?

In many cases, home health care allows a person to be discharged earlier from a hospital, reduces hospital admissions, and helps with a faster recovery. Most importantly, people are happier at home and receive more care and attention from family, friends and home health care professionals.

Who uses home health care?

  • People who are home bound and need intermittent skilled nursing or therapy services.
  • People who can leave the hospital or nursing home but need additional care.
  • People who need assistance to remain at home.
  • People who need education about the disease process and training on how to best care for themselves.

What types of home care agencies are there?

There are two main types of home health care agencies: certified agencies and private duty (or non-certified) agencies.

  1. Certified agencies. Certified home health care agencies comply with Medicare and Medicaid regulations. An individual’s Medicare benefit defines the conditions that qualify for service. The need for service typically starts after hospitalization or a significant change in medical condition. Care is prescribed by a doctor and is generally restricted to skilled services that may include nursing; physical, occupational or speech/language therapy; medical social work; and/or home health aides to help with personal care needs. While a doctor must prescribe care, the patient has the right to select the provider of his choice. FMH Home Health Care is a Medicare- and Medicaid-certified agency.

  2. Private duty agencies. Private duty agencies offer a wide variety of services, including medical and non-medical care. For example, in addition to nursing, private duty services could include help with shopping, laundry, meals, and companionship. The patient and/or family usually pay for the cost of care, although some insurance plans might also cover all or a portion of it. FMH Home Health Care is not a private duty agency.

Who pays for home health care services?

Medicare and/or Medicaid will cover the cost of in-home healthcare services for those who meet either program’s eligibility requirements. Medicaid and private insurance companies, managed-care organizations, and workers’ compensation plans may also pay for in-home healthcare services. Some may require co-pay and authorization.

How do I qualify for Medicare Home Health Services coverage?

Your physician must determine that you need intermittent medical care in your home.

You must be homebound. This simply means it takes a considerable taxing effort for you to leave your home and that your absences are infrequent or of relatively short duration. You may still be considered homebound if you leave home to attend religious services, to receive health care, participate in a state licensed/certified and/or accredited adult day care program, or attend a unique or infrequent special event.

What are the benefits of home health care?

The primary benefit of home health care for the elderly is that it can be delivered directly to the patient's residence.

Family members are encouraged to be active participants in the planning process to help set and meet goals, working with home health care professionals for the benefit of the patient.

Additional benefits of home health care include:

  • Care is delivered directly to the patient’s residence
  • Medical services are provided by skilled professionals
  • Home health care staff follow the physician- prescribed plan
  • Patient’s regain independence and self-sufficiency at home
  • Care is typically less expensive than hospitalization or a long-term nursing home

How do I get started?

Our knowledgeable Intake Representatives are available to speak with you by calling 240-566-3222. One simple phone call is all it takes to get started. Our specialists will work with your physician to help you determine the right type and amount of care you need.