We’ve tried to anticipate and answer some of the questions that may be on your mind. That’s why we’ve created this resource center and designed it to help you access some baseline information. If you don’t see the answers to your questions here, call us. We’re always happy to help and we look forward to hearing from you.
This time of transition may bring feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. You are not alone. Since 1999 Helping Hands Healthcare has helped people just like you make these important choices. Over the years, we’ve listened carefully to your concerns as you face this phase in life.
Below are some common questions we receive from our clients and their families at the start of this journey. Browse through them and hopefully you will find answers that will bring you peace of mind. If you don't find what you're looking for, call us anytime. It's our pleasure to help you learn more about our company and the home health care industry. After all, maintaining independence in the comfort of home is the best decision.
- Our management team has a combined total of over 100 years of experience in this industry.
- Our agency is locally owned and operated by Southwestern Ohio residents.
- We are Medicare-certified.
- We have a continued presence in Southwestern Ohio, serving 8 counties.
- We have created our own proprietary specialty clinical programs designed to prepare our staff to deliver superior care.
- We are licensed, certified, bonded and insured.
- All of our in-home employees must undergo rigorous backgound checks.
- We specialize in the "people" side of home care.
- We foster a specialized, interdisciplinary team approach.
- We know and understand the community we serve.
- Our innovative implementation of state-of-the-art technological solutions ensures caregiver compliance, interdisciplinary team coordination and up-to-the-minute clinical care.
- Our employees are not subcontracted; they are undergo our rigorous training program, are supervised in-house, and are held accountable by our telephony system that streams directly to our management team in real-time.
How will I be involved in the home care for my loved one?
We hope that you will be an integral part of your family member’s care. It’s our goal to keep you involved and participative. The Helping Hands Healthcare team will help to educate you and train you wherever it is necessary. We also will be there to support you in your decisions and delivery of care. We know that you know our client the best. Together we can make a difference.
How do I set up services?
To discuss the needs of your loved one, please contact the Referral/Intake Coordinator in the office, who will guide you through the process of setting up services. You can reach us at 513-777-2818 or toll free at 1-877-894-5438. Head to our referrals page for forms and more detailed information.
Who will be coming to my house?
Our Helping Hands Healthcare Referral/Intake Coordinator will help to determine the appropriate avenue of referral. From there, either an LPN or RN will arrive to assess, evaluate and open the case for services. We try to assemble the best team of employees to serve our clients' individual needs and personalities and work to create a perfect match for you and your family.
Are the caregivers bonded?
All of the Helping Hands Healthcare field staff are bonded and covered by liability insurance. In addition, our employees are covered by Workers Compensation insurance.
Are federal and state taxes paid for by the agency?
Yes, Helping Hands Healthcare takes out the appropriate tax withholdings and payments.
How are the caregivers supervised?
All of the Helping Hands Healthcare services are provided under the direct supervision of the RN or LPN Care Manager assigned to the case. We utilize telephone supervisory visits as well as in-home supervisory visits to monitor our employees. In addition, our Quality Assurance (QA) program focuses on your input regarding their performance.
Can you come to our home every day?
Under the federal Medicare program, no.
Home healthcare is defined by Medicare as being "intermittent in nature." Under some unique situations, some medical conditions can warrant increased care. Helping Hands Healthcare will work to integrate a multitude of payer sources if situations such as this arise. Private pay can be utilized to augment government and insurance programs.
Do I have a choice in my healthcare provider?
Most people are not aware that you have the freedom of choice when it comes to your healthcare provider. The federal law* actually guarantees a client’s right to choose any qualified provider. Often this is the choice you face when returning home from the hospital, nursing home or your physician might also suggest you receive home healthcare. We want to make sure you know that the experts at Helping Hands Healthcare are here to lend you a helping hand.
*Social Security Act, 1802(a): “Basic freedom of choice – Any individual entitled to insurance benefits under this may obtain health services from any institution, agency, or person qualified to participate under this title if such institution, agency, or person undertakes to provide him such services.”
Home healthcare services can be paid privately by a family or also by usage of health insurance. In addition, there are parameters for usage under the federal medical program. Veterans may also be eligible through their VA plans. In Ohio, there are also county funded organizations that will often pay for home care.
Third Party Payers
1. Medicare: Home healthcare services covered by Medicare must be intermittent or part-time and provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency. Helping Hands Healthcare is a Medicare-certified home health agency. To be eligible you must be:
- Older than 65 (some disabled under 65 are exempt from this age requirement)
- Under a physician’s care (the physician must authorize and periodically review the home healthcare plan)
- In need of medically necessary skilled nursing or therapy
2. Medicaid: A program for low-income individuals, eligibility which varies by state. Helping Hands Healthcare is certified to provide services under Medicaid. Home healthcare coverage is mandated in all states for people who:
- Receive federally assisted income maintenance payments such as Social Security income or Aide to Family with Dependent Children
- Are deemed “categorically needy” (individuals who are aged, blind, and/or disabled with incomes above the mandatory coverage level but below poverty levels.
Helping Hands Healthcare is a preferred provider for numerous insurance plans. For insurance cases, we will verify the patient’s coverage, including any co-payment, and bill the insurance company or other third-party payer for the patient.
Not sure if you or a loved one is in need of home care services? Unsure of what kind of services you need? If you or your loved one answers yes to one or more of the following questions, then you may be in need of home care.
Are you or a loved one...
- recuperating from an illness or an accident?
- disabled or have difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs)?
- 65 or older?
- fallen wtihin the last 3 months?
- been diagnosed with a new illness?
- having difficulty understanding which medications to take and why?
- dealing with a medical condition that has recently changed?
- require therapy services?
- in need of care at a facility but would rather be cared for at home?
- hospitalized or placed in a nursing home recently?
- at risk for a fall?
- living with a medical condition that would benefit from being monitored?
- suffering from terminal illness and need help with pain management or emotional support?
- paralyzed, bed-bound or wheelchair-bound and in need of assistance?
- in need of assistance to leave your home?
This list of questions is meant as a guide only, and is available to determine what kind of care you need. They are indicators that you or a loved one is having trouble and that it might be time for an in-home assessment.
Call Helping Hands Healthcare any time for more information. We’ll answer any questions you have and get you in touch with the resources you need to help you figure out what your next steps need to be.
From an emotional, psychological, physical and financial standpoint, home care rises above nursing facilities in every category.
The nurturing environment of home is a powerful element when it comes to a patient’s recovery. When illness strikes or when a patient faces a long road to recovery, the familiar sights and sounds of home, the snuggle of pets, the presence of family, friends and neighbors and the surroundings of favorite neighborhood retreats are all part of a patient’s roots, grounding them in their time of need. Can you imagine how traumatizing it would be for them to leave that all behind?
When compared to a nursing home, home care offers a more individualized plane of care that provides the patient with focused, one-on-one attention. Additionally, rates of infection are much higher in nursing facilities due to air flow, common eating areas, shared restrooms and increased populations.
Financially, the cost of home care when compared to a nursing facility is significantly lower. On average, the cost of in-home care is approximately $42K annually. Compare that to the nursing home at $80K for a private room and $70K for a semi-private room.
Industry research, physicians and medical experts across the board agree that home care is the best decision whenever possible.
Don’t let new terminology get in your way of understanding your healthcare. Below is a list of terms our clients frequently ask about, plus some terms we thought you should know, defined in layman’s terms to help you navigate the complex world of healthcare services and make informed decisions.
Accreditation – A process whereby a program of study or an institution is recognized by an external body as meeting certain predetermined standards. (See JCAHO and CHAP.)
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – Refers to five limitations in activities (bathing, dressing, transferring, using the toilet, and eating) that reflect the home healthcare client’s capacity for self-care and degree of independence.
Acuity Level – The level of severity of an illness. This is one of the parameters considered in patient classification systems that are designed to serve as guidelines for allocation of nursing staff, to justify staffing decisions, and to aid in long-range projection of staffing and budget.
Advance Directives – Legally executed documents drawn up while the individual is still competent, to be used only if that individual becomes incapacitated or incompetent, and appoints another person to make decisions on the individual’s behalf.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) – The most common of the dementia disorders. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking, and behavior causing loss of short-term memory, the ability to reason, the ability to care for oneself and deterioration of language skills. Symptoms include: gradual memory loss, decline in ability to perform routine tasks, disorientation in time and space, impaired judgment, changes in personality, difficulty learning, and loss of language and communication skills.
Bed Bugs –are parasitic insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood .
Beneficiary – The recipient of medical benefits.
Blood Pressure -usually refers to the systemic arterial pressure measured at a person's upper arm and is a measure of the pressure in the brachial artery, the major artery in the upper arm. A person’s blood pressure is usually expressed in terms of the systolic pressure over diastolic pressure and is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg), for example 120/80.
Care Conference – Conference regarding a specific client issue/concern including all members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.
Caregiver – Someone who gives care to another person. There are two types of caregivers: medical caregivers and non-medical caregivers. Medical caregivers, such as registered nurses, provide assistance to patients with medical needs. Non-medical caregivers, such as home health aides, help individuals with activities of daily living (ADLs) and companionship.
Care Plan – A logical set of activities, steps, assessments, and expected outcomes designed to guide clinicians in making decisions about activities to perform during each visit.
Case Management – The monitoring and coordination of treatment rendered to clients with specific diagnoses or requiring high-cost or extensive services.
Catheter – A thin, soft tube that is placed in the urinary bladder and attached to a bag that collects the urine. It may be inserted into the bladder of people who lose control of their bladder and cannot use a toilet; for example, someone in a coma. Catheters may also be used because the urine does not flow naturally, to keep pressure sores that are not healing clean and dry, or to measure the amount of urine being produced. A catheter should only be used when it is medically necessary.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The federal agency that runs the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program. This agency makes sure that the beneficiaries in these programs have access to high quality healthcare.
Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN) – Documentation required by certain payers, such as Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, to maintain compliance and prove medical necessity of equipment and services.
Certification Period – 60 day period
Certified – A long-term facility, home health agency, or hospice agency that meets the requirements imposed by either or both Medicare and Medicaid is said to be certified. Being certified is not the same as being accredited. Medicare, Medicaid, and some long-term care insurance policies only cover care in a certified facility or provided by a certified agency. If a certification status was pending, the agency was coded as not certified for the analyses in this report.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) – Certified Nursing Assistants work closely with clients and are trained and certified to help nurses by providing non-medical such as bathing, grooming, feeding, dressing, assisting nurses with medical equipment, and checking vital signs such as temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respirations. CNAs ensure our clients receive essential social and emotional support and provide vital information on client conditions to nurses.
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) – An allied health paraprofessional who, under the direction of an occupational therapist, directs an individual's participation in selected tasks to restore, reinforce, and enhance performance; facilitates learning of skills and functions essential for adaptation and productivity; diminishes or corrects disorders; and promotes and maintains health.
Chronic Disease – Usually illnesses that are marked by long duration or frequent recurrence that are rarely curable. Chronic diseases tend to be costly health conditions that may affect a person’s ability to function and remain in the community, and often can lead to death and disability.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of two commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of air to and from the lungs.
Claim – Information submitted by a healthcare provider or insurance beneficiary, to a payer of medical benefits (e.g. insurance company, Medicare), to establish that medical services or equipment were provided, thus justifying payment to the healthcare provider or beneficiary.
Client Assistance Program (CAP) – Program designed to assist people with disabilities who have questions or a problem with Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS).
Code of Ethics – A set of rules put forth by the Council on Aging that we must adhere to while providing service for a client contracted under their services.
Comfort Measures – Refers only to pain medications, nursing care, and treatments for the purpose of providing comfort and relieving pain only, not for curative purposes.
Companion – A companion serves a non-medical role in a client’s life by providing no personal care or nursing care. Companion Care Services caters to seniors, new and expectant parents, and other individuals. Companions perform duties such as reminder services (medications, dates, routines), assisting with mobility, providing companionship, preparing meals and feeding, escorting to appointments, organizing and reading mail, entertaining, and more.
Compliant –a patient's (or doctor's) adherence to a recommended course of treatment
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) – A condition in which the heart’s function as a pump to deliver oxygen-rich blood is inadequate to meet the body’s needs.
Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) – A treatment method designed to aid in the recovery of joints immediately after trauma or surgery. CPM is carried out by a CPM device, which constantly moves the joint through a controlled range of motion.
Custodial Care – Custodial care is similar to companion care. It is non-medical care that assists with ADLs.
Daily Care – Medicare and Medicaid rules limit the amount of services a home health agency can provide. In order to qualify for these home care benefits a patient must be in need of “intermittent” as opposed to daily, 24-hour care. Medicare usually defines intermittent care as care needed five times a week or less.
Dementia – Characterized by the loss of intellectual functions (e.g. vocabulary, abstract thinking, judgment, memory loss, physical coordination) to the extent that a person’s daily functioning is affected. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a group of symptoms which may accompany certain diseases or physical conditions. The cause and rate of the progression of dements vary. Dementia can be caused by degenerative disease (Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases), vascular diseases or stroke, metabolic disorders (thyroid, kidney dysfunction, and certain vitamin deficiencies), AIDs, drugs and alcohol, and psychiatric disorders.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) – A written order from a doctor dictating that an individual does not desire resuscitative measures in the case of failed breathing or cardiac arrest. Such an order may be instituted on the basis of an advance directive from the person or from someone entitled to make decisions on his or her behalf.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) - Prescribed medical equipment (e.g. wheelchair, walker, or hospital beds) that can be used for an extended period of time in the home.
Durable Power of Attorney (POA) – A power of attorney that stays in effect even after the person whom the document represents becomes incompetent.
Elder Care - Elder care, sometimes spelled eldercare, is care for aged individuals. It is also commonly referred to as geriatric care or senior care, and includes a wide range of care services, including help with ADLs, services provided at home, in the community and in residential care facilities, including assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Typically, elder care is provided over an extended period of time to people who need another person’s assistance to perform normal activities of daily living because of cognitive impairment or loss of muscular strength or control.
Elderly Services Program (ESP) – The Elderly Services Program provides in-home care for eligible seniors who might otherwise be forced to leave their homes and enter a nursing facility. ESP provides services such as Meals on Wheels, personal care (bathing and grooming), home-making and emergency response devices, to name a few. ESP clients also have a care manager who advocates for their needs, answers questions, and makes sure they receive the right services.
Exercise – Any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.
Explanation of Benefits (EOB) - Document provided by insurance payers listing charges presented to them by a healthcare provider of services; this document includes the amount paid and/or the amount declined with a reason for the denial.
Face to Face Encounter – A client who is receiving skilled care from a home health agency must have been seen by their physician no earlier than 90 days prior to the start of care date or no later than 30 days after the start of care date. This is a Medicare Guideline that must be adhered to.
Fee-For-Service - The healthcare payment system under which the provider is paid for the cost of each service provided.
Geriatric Care - Geriatric care is care for aged or older individuals. The term “geriatric care” is often interchangeable with elder care or senior care.
Healthcare Proxy – A legal document in which an individual designates another person to make healthcare decisions if he or she is rendered incapable of making his or her wishes known. The healthcare proxy has, in essence, the same rights to request or refuse treatment that the individual would have if capable of making and communicating decisions.
High Tech – Home health agencies specialize in serving technology-dependent children and adults. High tech services include pulmonary care and infusion therapy (parenteral and enteral feeding, IV chemotherapy and IV antibiotics).
HIPAA – Policies, procedures and guidelines for maintaining the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.
Homebound - To be homebound means: leaving your home isn’t recommended because of your condition, your condition keeps you from leaving home without help (such as using a wheelchair or walker, needing special transportation, or getting help from another person), or leaving home takes a considerable and taxing effort. A person may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, such as attending religious services. You can still get home healthcare if you attend adult day care, but you would get the home care services in your home.
Home Care - Healthcare and related services provided in the home. This can range from care provided by a home health aide, home health nurse, companion, or caregiver and includes intermittent care, respite care, and home therapies. Services also include nursing, home health aide, physical, speech and occupational therapy, medical social services, hospice, maternal child health, and other related services such as homemaking, nutrition counseling, medical supplies and equipment, transportation, and laboratory services. The term homecare covers both medical and non-medical forms of care.
Home Health Agency - A home health agency is an agency that provides home healthcare for individuals. These agencies are also often referred to as homecare agencies. Home health agencies help match a home healthcare professional with a client in need of home healthcare services including: skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and care by home health aides.
Home Health Aide (HHA) - A home health aide is a trained professional who provides non-medical health services. Home health aides primary tasks include personal care and assistance with ADLs. Medicare does not cover home health aide services unless one is also getting skilled care such as nursing care or other therapy. Training or certification requirements vary from state-to-state, but typical services include assistance with activities of daily living, managing medications, and some household tasks. In some states, only licensed home health aides can provide hands-on assistance.
Home Healthcare - Home healthcare is healthcare that occurs within one’s home. The term home healthcare and homecare are often interchangeably; however, home healthcare refers to medical-related homecare while homecare encompasses all medical and non-medical homecare services. A home healthcare company provides services that include caregiver services, home health nursing, home therapists, home health aides, and more. This support allows many clients to remain living somewhat independently in their own homes.
Home Health Nurse - A home health nurse is a nurse that works in a homecare environment. This includes RNs and LPNs.
Homemaker - Trained homemakers offer light housekeeping, grocery shopping, errands, laundry, and simple personal care.
Homemaking – Light housekeeping chores performed in the clients home.
Home Medical Equipment (HME) - Medical equipment provided to clients for home/self care or treatment.
Hospice - A specially coordinated home-based program that helps children and adults with a terminal illness, along with their families, cope with death by living life to the fullest. The interdisciplinary team emphasizes care directed toward expert pain and symptom control, maximizing independence and socialization and providing support. Hospice services include: care for the terminally ill, respite care, volunteer services, and bereavement services.
Hypertension - Also referred to as high blood pressure, this is a medical condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated.
ICD-9 Codes – Also known as ICD-9-CM. International Classification of Diseases classification system used to assign codes to patients.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLS) - An index or scale which measures a patient's degree of independence in aspects of cognitive and social functioning including shopping, cooking, doing housework, managing money and using the telephone. These are not as fundamental as ADLs, but are necessary nonetheless. Most long-term care insurance policies will not pay benefits solely for the loss of ability to perform IADLs.
Intermediate Care - Intermediate care is healthcare that is performed between primary care services and independent self-care. Intermediate care often takes place after a hospital visit and before an individual has recovered enough to take care of his or her self. It is meant to provide a measure of independence to the individual while he or she is still relatively dependent on someone else for care. Intermediate care can be provided in a facility or in a home healthcare environment.
Intermittent Care - Intermittent care occurs when an individual is in need of infrequent medical assistance. Intermittent care caregivers may only be required for a couple of hours a day and a few days a week. Many times, a caregiver may need to leave their loved one at home, but feel uncomfortable leaving them alone without a certified medical caregiver. Hiring a caregiver for intermittent care can help ease that fear. Under the Balanced Budget act of 1997, part-time or intermittent Skilled Nursing Care means skilled and home health aide services that are either provided or needed on fewer than seven days each week or less than eight hours of each day for periods of 21 days or fewer; with extensions in exceptional circumstances when the need for additional care is finite and predictable.
Intravenous Therapy (IV) - The giving of liquid substances directly into a vein either intermittently or continuously.
The Joint Commission (JCAHO) - A national, private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to encourage the attainment of uniformly high standards of institutional medical care. JCAHO establishes guidelines for the operation of hospitals and other health facilities and conducts survey and accreditation programs. (See CHAP.)
KEPRO – Ohio's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, working with healthcare professionals to improve the quality of care for Ohio's Medicare beneficiaries.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - Licensed Practical Nurses are licensed nurses that are required to pass a licensing examination known as the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse). The difference between an LPN and an RN is the amount of education required for a license (one year for an LPN license and two for an RN license). These individuals can perform simple as well as complex medical procedures, but must operate under the supervision of either a Registered Nurse (RN) or a physician, depending on state laws.
Life Alert – A device worn by clients at all times, which allows them to alert for an emergency medical response.
Living Will – A legal document that makes known a person’s wishes regarding medical treatments at the end of life; this allows a person to state in advance his or her wishes regarding the use or removal of life-sustaining or death-delaying procedures in the vent or injury or illness.
Long Term Care (LTC) - A set of healthcare, personal care and social services required by persons who have lost, or never acquired, some degree of functional capacity (e.g., the chronically ill, aged, disabled, or retarded) in an institution or at home, on a long-term basis. The term is often used more narrowly to refer only to long-term institutional care, such as that provided in nursing homes, homes for the retarded, and mental hospitals. Ambulatory services, such as home healthcare which can also be provided on a long-term basis, are seen as alternatives to long-term institutional care. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, or in various types of facilities including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Regardless of where it is provided, most long-term care is custodial care and custodial care is not paid for by Medicare.
Long Term Care Facility (LTCF) - A facility that provides care for people who are unable to care for themselves and who may have health problems ranging from minor to serious. These facilities are often used for short-term rehabilitation after hospitalization.
Managed Care - The body of clinical, financial and organizational activities designed to ensure the provision of appropriate healthcare services in a cost-efficient manner. Managed care techniques are most often practiced by organizations and professionals that assume risk for a defined population (e.g. health maintenance organizations).Managed care plans include: HMOs, preferred provider organizations, point of service plans and similar coordinated care networks. Providers include: specialists, hospital, skilled nursing facilities, therapists, and home healthcare agencies.
Meals on Wheels – Meals on Wheels are programs that deliver meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals.
Medicaid – A jointly funded medical and financial federal-state health insurance assistance program, offering benefits to individuals with limited financial resources, the disabled and the elderly. Programs vary from state to state, but most healthcare costs are covered if one qualities for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicaid State Plan – Clients are eligible for up to 14 hours weekly of home health aide services under their Medicaid Plan.
Medicaid Waiver - The Medicaid program which provides services in addition to traditional Medicaid, so that those who would otherwise be eligible for nursing home care, can stay in their own homes. The additional services are: case management, respite, personal care services, and adult day services and the program pays for some assistive devices for patients. There is a limited number of slots available statewide for this program.
Medically Necessary - Services or supplies that are: needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your medical condition and meet accepted standards of medical practice. Are provided for the diagnosis, direct care, and treatment of a medical condition, meet the standards of a good medical practice in the medical community of one’s local area, and are not mainly for the convenience of the beneficiary of his/her doctor.
Medical Social Services - Services to help you with social and emotional concerns related to your illness. This might include counseling or help in finding resources in your community.
Medical Social Worker (MSW) - Social workers provide counseling to families and individuals to help them cope with problems associated with the care of an ill person, and assist in coordinating home care with other community programs after initially assessing the patient to determine any physical, mental, or emotional needs. A medical social worker works with individuals who are in need of psychosocial assistance. Medical social workers provide case management, grief counseling, coordination of community resources, and assistance with the social/emotional effects of coping with acute and chronic illness in the home.
Medical Supplies - Essential items that the home health team uses to conduct home visits or to carry out services the physician has ordered to treat or diagnose a patient's illness or injury. Examples include: cotton balls, adhesive and paper tape, thermometers, dressings for wound care, sterile gloves, catheters, and syringes. The home health agency provides these supplies for their use with the patient.
Medicare - Medicare is a federal program that helps pay for medical expenses of those aged 65 and over, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ERSD) (permanent kidney failure that must be treated with dialysis or a transplant). Part A covers inpatient care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and short-term healthcare. Part B covers doctors’ services, outpatient care and durable medical equipment. It does not provide long-term care. Coverage varies depending on individual needs.
Nebulizer – A device used to administer medication to patients in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used in treating cystic fibrosis, asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Non-Compliant – Behavior of person and/or caregiver that fails to coincide with a health-promoting or therapeutic plan agreed on by the person (and/or family or community) and the healthcare professional.
Nurse Practitioner – A Registered Nurse (RN) with at least a master’s degree in nursing and advanced education in the primary care of particular groups of clients, capable of independent practice in a variety of settings.
Nursing – Registered Nurses provide nursing care including counseling, physical assessments and administration of prescribed treatments such as drug therapy, parenteral feeding, blood drawings for lab work, and diagnostic testing.
Occupational Therapist (OT) - Occupational therapists work with individuals living with mental, physical, and/or developmental disabilities and help them perform daily tasks. Occupational therapists assist a broad age range of individuals with a variety of disabilities.
Occupational Therapy - Services given to help you return to usual activities (such as bathing, preparing meals, and housekeeping) independently after illness either on an inpatient or outpatient basis.
Outcomes Assessment and Information Set (OASIS) - An assessment tool designed to determine how people function. The added significance is that this system is serving as the data base from which PPS (Prospective Payments System) payments are determined.
Out of Pocket - Portion of health services or health costs that must be paid for by the plan member, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
Payer – An entity or organization, like an insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid, which pays for healthcare expenses.
Personal Care (PC) – Care provided by the home health aide that is providing personal care such as bathing, grooming, toileting, changing diaper, feeding, etc.
Physical Therapist (PT) - Physical therapists are licensed to assist with the restoration and maintenance of fitness for individuals with physical ailments or restrictions. Physical therapists are rehabilitation professionals, whom utilize various therapies to help people maximize mobility and restore strength and body movement after an illness or injury such as a stroke, fall, back injury, etc.
Physical Therapy – Registered physical therapists offer treatments to renew or increase movement and independence, to restore function, strength, and to maintain maximum performance. Treatment of injury and disease are by mechanical means, such as heat, light, exercise, and massage
Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) – A person who, under the supervision of a physical therapist, assists in carrying out patient treatment programs, providing treatment that improves mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or lessens physical disabilities of patients. An assistant usually has an associate's degree and in some states is licensed.
Physician Assistant (PA) – Advanced practice clinicians licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician.
Plan of Care – Written doctors orders for home health services and treatments based on the patient’s condition. The plan of care is developed by the doctor, the home health team, and the patient. The home health team keeps the doctor up-to-date on the patient’s condition and updates the plan of care as needed. It is the doctor, and not the home health team, that authorizes what services are needed and for how long.
Plan of Treatment - Written document that outlines the progression of therapy for a patient.
Primary Care Physician (PCP) – A doctor trained to give basic care. A primary care physician is the one seen first for most health problems. He or she may also talk with more specialized doctors and healthcare providers and make referrals. In many Medicare managed care plans, a primary care physician must be seen first before seeing other healthcare providers.
Primary Diagnosis – The most resource intensive condition of the client.
Private Duty- Nurses, aides, and attendants provide private duty care on a fee-for-service basis in the home, hospital or extended care facility. Services include homemaking assistance, shopping, errands, and companionship.
Professional Boundaries- Effective and appropriate interaction between professionals and the public they serve. Boundaries exist to protect both the professional and the client.
Provider – an entity, organization or individual which provides healthcare services, such as a physician, a hospital or a home healthcare company.
Recertification- Every 60 days the client must reassessed and approval gained from the doctor to continue skilled services.
Rehabilitation- Rehabilitation is the recovery process following a surgery, injury, or illness. Home healthcare provides rehabilitation services within the home in order to help the individual re-adjust to daily life.
Registered Nurse (RN)- A registered nurse is a nurse who goes through an extensive licensure process and nursing board certification. Registered nurses provide skilled home healthcare to patients in need.
Respite Care - Respite care is designed to give the primary caregiver a break from their duties. Hiring a respite care caregiver offers the primary caregiver a break and provides quality care for a loved one. Patient care provided intermittently in the home or institution in order to provide temporary relief to the family home care giver.
Resumption of Care (ROC)- The assessment that has to be completed under Medicare Guidelines when a client is admitted to the hospital for more than 24 consecutive hours.
Senior Care- Senior care is care of the elderly and is often referred to as elder care or geriatric care. Senior care ranges from home healthcare for medical needs to non-medical caregiver or companion services.
Skilled Care- A type of healthcare given when you need skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff to manage, observe, and evaluate your care. Nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are considered skilled care by Medicare. In addition to providing direct care these professionals manage, observe, and evaluate your care. Any service that could be safely done by a non-medical person (or by yourself) without the supervision of a nurse is not considered skilled care.
Skilled Nursing Care- Care given or supervised by Registered Nurses. Nurses provide direct care, manage, observe, and evaluate a patient’s care; and teach the patient and his or her family caregiver. Examples include: giving IV drugs, shots, or tube feedings; changing dressings; and teaching about diabetes care. Any service that could be done safely by a non-medical person (or by yourself) without the supervision of a nurse isn’t skilled nursing care. Medicare covers home health skilled nursing care that is part time and intermittent.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)- A nursing facility with the staff and equipment to give skilled nursing care and, in most cases, skilled rehabilitative services and other related health services.
Speech Therapist (ST)- therapeutic treatments to improve the speech of children who have difficulty in learning to speak, for example because of partial deafness or brain damage, or to help restore the power of speech to adults who have lost it or partly lost it through accident or illness.
Speech Therapy-This is the study of communication problems. Speech therapists assist with problems involving speech, language, and swallowing. Communication problems can be present at birth or develop after an injury or illness, such as a stroke.
State of Care (SOC)- The initial assessment completed by an RN when beginning a new client.
State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA)- State Tested Nursing Assistants work closely with clients and are trained and certified to help nurses by providing non-medical such as bathing, grooming, feeding, dressing, assisting nurses with medical equipment, and checking vital signs such as temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respirations. STNAs ensure our clients receive essential social and emotional support and provide vital information on client conditions to nurses.
Survey- A State agency that oversees healthcare facilities that participate in the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. The State Survey Agency inspects healthcare facilities and investigates complaints to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
Total Hip Replacement (THR)- surgical procedure to replace a hip joint with an artificial joint.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)- surgical procedure to replace a knee joint with an artificial joint.
Universal Precautions- A method of infection control—recommended by the CDC—in which all human blood, certain body fluids, as well as fresh tissues and cells of human origin are handled as if they are known to be infected with HIV, HBV, and/or other blood-borne pathogens.
Unskilled Care- Often mistaken to mean inferior care, unskilled care simply refers to non-medical care, where medical training is not necessary. Personal care and companionship would be categorized as unskilled care while medical home healthcare positions would not.
Below is information we have gathered to expand your knowledge base about home care. These resources are for informational purposes and education.
This list was gathered from a variety of resources including online sites listed below. This list is not intended to substitute or replace any professional or medical advice. Please do not utilize any of this in place of physician or professional consultation.
We hope you find these resources helpful, but please remember we do not control or endorse the information from any of these resources.
Alzheimer's Association: www.alz.org
American Association for Homecare: www.aahomecare.org
American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.org
American Health Care Association: www.ahcancal.org
American Society on Aging: www.asaging.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio: www.help4seniors.org
Dream Foundation: www.dreamfoundation.org
Eldercare Locator: www.eldercare.gov
Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign: www.homehealthquality.org
National Association for Home Care & Hospice: www.nahc.org
National Council on Disability: www.ncd.gov
National Family Caregivers Association: www.nfcacares.org
National Hospice Foundation: www.nationalhospicefoundation.org
National Institutes of Health: www.nih.gov
Ohio Department of Health: www.odh.ohio.gov
Patient's Bill of Rights under hte New Affordable Care Act: www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/index.html
Resources for Seniors: www.resourcesforseniors.com
Social Security Administration: www.ssa.gov
State and Area Agencies on Aging: www.aoa.gov