Home health care involves the services offered by an interdisciplinary team. Such a team often includes a therapist, registered nurse, personal aide, social worker, medical equipment supplier and informal caregivers. As the leader, only the physician is held legally responsible when it comes to determining the healthcare needs of a patient. When providing home health care services to seniors, physicians bear the responsibility of developing and authorizing treatment plans. However, every member of an interdisciplinary team is equally important.

House Calls
Current regulations allow physicians and registered nurses to offer house call services. House calls make it possible for doctors to evaluate a patient’s circumstances and home setting, which in turn allows them to observe and address the issues they may have missed during office visits. Cluttered hallways, burned out caregivers and lack of railing are some of the issues capable of keeping patients from functioning as they should. Home visits can also reveal improper medicine applications or patient abuse, all of which can get in the way of treatment. In addition, house calls make it possible for patients to access healthcare services without having to travel, which is significantly important if getting out of the house is difficult.

When Is Home Health Care Necessary?
Home health care services are necessary when therapy, nursing, or aide services are required. You need this type of service if you:
• Have trouble getting around while recovering
• Have wounds that require regular cleaning
• Require frequent injections or medication
• Suffer from an incurable disease and therefore need emotional support and care
• Lack sufficient knowledge about the medical condition you suffer from and how to manage it
• Need help to perform basic functions like bathing, dressing, or meal preparation

While a patient with any of the issues listed above is more likely to need home care services, the amount of time will vary depending on the medical condition. Some patients will need this type of healthcare services on an ongoing basis other will need it for a limited period. The Eldercare Home Health website has the available resources if you would like to learn more.

Medicare
Before they can qualify for Medicare coverage, patients must be “confined to the home.” To be considered as confined to the home, patients must meet a few conditions, which is why you should know the criteria. As outlined by Medicare, below is a qualification guideline that includes the conditions a qualified patient has to meet.
• A patient must be suffering from a condition that makes leaving the house a difficult if not impossible task.
• A patient does not have to be bedridden

Patients can leave their homes when they need to:
• Go for an occasional outing. As long as they are occasional, attending a family reunion and walking around the block are acceptable.
• Visit a professional health care practitioner
• Attend a religious service

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