Frequently Asked Questions
What is home care?
“Home Care” is sometimes used to describe any type of care – medical or non-medical – that is provided in the home. However, there are significant differences between such statements as “Skilled Care”, “Personal Care” and “Home Care”.
- “Skilled Care” typically describes services that are medically necessary and are provided by a licensed nurse or therapist. These types of services always involve your doctor, as well. Skilled Care is usually covered by health insurance.
- “Personal Care” is provided by a Certified Nursing Aide who must complete a Colorado board approved training program, must receive certification from Colorado State, and must be supervised periodically by a nurse. This service can involve assisting a patient with personal care such as bathing, dressing, getting out of bed, using the toilet, eating, and walking. Personal Care is frequently covered by health insurance.
- “Home Care” or companion care typically describes services such as providing a client with companionship or, in the case of a client who cannot be left alone safely, with supervision. Services may also include meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, and care of gentle pets. Companion Care is most often not covered by health insurance.
- “Companions” are not required to complete any training or be certified by the state. Companions may not legally provide assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing, getting out of bed, using the toilet, eating, and walking unless they possess the necessary certification.
What services do home care agencies provide?
Services available from a Home Health Care agency will vary depending upon the individual agency. Vitality Home Healthcare can provide you or your family member with:
- Skilled nursing
- Physical, occupational therapy
- Dietary/nutritional education and guidance
- Home health aide assistance with personal care
- Optional companion care
What does it mean to be homebound?
An individual’s status as either “homebound” or “not homebound” can sometimes mean the difference between being eligible for insurance-paid Home Care services or not. Homebound status is generally defined as:
- People who leave home only occasionally and with difficulty, due to an illness or injury. They may need assistance or use an assistive device such as a walker.
- People who are unable to leave home for casual outings or errands, or to participate in activities other than medical visits or religious services.
- People who are physically and/or emotionally unable to receive care on an outpatient basis.
Do I qualify for home care services?
Will my insurance cover home care services?
An in-home assessment is the only certain way to determine whether you are eligible for Home Care services covered by your insurance. Qualification standards for home care services vary by insurance company and plan. For Medicare, patients are generally eligible for Home Care if they:
- are homebound;
- need intermittent, skilled nursing care or therapy;
- are under a physician’s care.
Insurers other than Medicare may consider a need for assistance with personal care such as dressing or bathing may be sufficient justification for insurance-eligible Home Care. Of course, Home Care services may always be paid for on a private care basis. Sometimes a combination of insurance-covered services and private care services will best meet your needs. For help in discovering what you may be eligible for, please contact us at 970-667-2273. We’ll review the specifics of your situation, and advise you regarding your best options.
What should I look for when choosing a home care agency?
When evaluating potential Home Care providers, ask about accreditations, licenses, and certifications. The full-service, Certified or Licensed Home Care agencies will have been reviewed and approved by the state, and must adhere to state and federal regulations designed to protect patient safety. Such agencies will provide careful supervision of all personnel, and perform pre-employment criminal background checks, drug screening, and reference checks on all staff.
How do I arrange for home care services?
Home care services are often recommended by your physician or, in the case of hospitalization, by a social worker or discharge planner at the hospital from which you are being discharged. These individuals will generally initiate your referral to a recommended home care agency.
Alternatively, you may contact a home care agency at any time and ask for assistance in starting services. To request initiation of home care services with Vitality, contact us either online, or by calling 970-667-2273.
How long does it take to get home care services started?
Typically Vitality can initiate delivery of home care services to you or your loved one within 24 hours of contact from you, your physician’s office, or your hospital.
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