Unfortunately, the terms home health care agency and home care agency seem to convey the same meanings, but in reality, they are vastly different. When the need arises to get help in the home for yourself or a loved one, it is good to know the differences in these two services. Home care, also known as personal care services, private duty, or in-home care is usually non-clinical and involves helping you with activities of daily living (ADLS) such as grooming, bathing, laundry, and cooking. Home Health Care on the other hand is clinical in nature, usually involves nurse visits, and typically begins with a doctor’s prescription for at-home support provided by licensed medical professionals.The visiting health care team from a home health agency may include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, occupational or physical therapists, medical social workers, or home health aides. They are trained to help people regain strength, maintain independence, and prevent unplanned emergency care or rehospitalizations. Understanding the difference between home health care versus personal home care is crucial so that you or your loved one receives the care they need.

What Is Home Health Care?
Home health care is sometimes called skilled home health or medical home health. Home Health was developed to allow individuals to be discharged from the hospital sooner but still get nurse oversight at home. It is at-home support for people discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility who cannot safely remain at home without some clinical supervision nor can travel to a doctor’s office or clinic. It can also be prescribed for rehabilitation after a fall, other injuries, or chronic severe health conditions. This care is usually delivered by 60-day periods know as certs (certifications) that have been prescribed by a doctor. This cert periods can be renewed until the patient has either made a full recovery, or that no more benefit can be given by home health.

Home health care can include:

  • Administering prescription medicines, including IVs
  • Fall prevention and mobility assessments
  • Medical assessments
  • Monitoring health status
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Wound care

Most home health care services are covered by insurance in some form. When prescribed by a doctor, home health visits are generally covered by Medicare, veterans benefits, and some long-term care or private insurance policies. In addition, Medicare pays up to 20% of the cost for durable medical equipment approved in a care plan. Medicare does not pay for 24-hour care  or long-term care at home and in those instances, it is good to contact an In-Home Care provider.

What Is Home Care?
Home care or personal services In-Home care is typically non-clinical and does not require a doctor’s referral. It supports people who need help maintaining their independence and daily routines at home. The non-clinical care staff does not typically provide wound care or dispense prescription medications. They can, under the supervision and training of a home health agency nurse be certified to do these tasks if they are a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant. However, they can offer medication reminders and inform families about general wellness.

Most personal services in-home care is private pay. Some long-term care policies, also know as long-term care insurance (LTCI), Medicaid or Medicare Advantage (part D) plans, include home care benefits. Wartime veterans, 65 years and older, may be covered by the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

In home personal care services can be delivered via an private duty agency such as Keep Safe Care (https://keepsafecare.com) or individuals can hire their own caregivers online though Keep Safe Care Direct (https://keepsafecaredirect.com)

Home Health Care versus In-Home Care
Home health care does not provide physical assistance or any long term care. In-home caregivers on the other hand might perform light housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping, or transportation. An important task is enabling seniors to maintain social connections and activities that preserve their quality of life. Agency home health care staff are not required to have training for state licensing.

While personal care includes the duties of companion care plus in-depth, hands-on support, caregivers help with the activities of daily living, including assistance with bathing, feeding, dressing, grooming, and incontinence care. Personal care is sometimes referred to as “custodial” or companion home care. Many states require personal care staff to have training and continuing education.

In summary, home health care focuses on medical needs and is covered by insurance. In contrast, home care assists with basic daily activities and may be private pay or covered by insurance.

About Keep Safe Care Direct
Keep Safe Care Direct is the only company that helps families and individuals find, curate, and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover through the web application, KeepSafeCareDirect.com. The Company’s platform uses the power of the internet to recruit and manage caregivers nationwide so you can hire, manage, schedule and pay for you care from the comfort of your computer. Our solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs so you can get more care and better outcomes. For more information go to keepsafecaredirect.com.