What is the difference between Home Health Care and Home Care?

Home Health Care:

Home Health Care is medical care, prescribed with a physician’s order and is covered by Insurance, including Medicare.

Scenario: If you have had a stroke and come home from the hospital but need to be under the supervision of an RN, such as for monitoring your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, oxygen levels, etc., your physician’s order would be for Home Health Care.

This order may include care from a Physical Therapist, Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and probably a Social Worker.

This kind of care is usually limited to weeks, rarely more than a few months. As your health improves, you are expected to transition to care outside your home, for whatever continuing therapies may be needed.

Home Health Care services may be provided by private organizations or by organizations connected to the hospital or the prescribing physician.

Home Care:

Home Care is personal care, assistance with activities of daily living such as grooming, dressing, bathing or showering. This type of care may be needed in conjunction with Home Health Care, or may be stand-alone care.

Health insurance including Medicare, does not cover this; it is paid for privately. In some cases, however, if the patient has long term care insurance, it may include coverage for Home Care.

Scenario: If you have had a stroke or some kind of surgery and come home from the hospital but are temporarily in a wheelchair or using a walker, you may need help with your daily living, with personal care, with supporting practicing the prescribed daily exercises, and with getting to places or appointments.

All this falls under the umbrella of personal care and is called Home Care. There is no limitation of time.

Home Care organizations provide these services. A physician’s order is not needed. If you choose home care it would be wise to let you Physician know that you are receiving this services.

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