Home health, home healthcare, home health services, home care, homecare, home care services.
The six most common terms used to describe patient centered medical and non-medical care in a home. But as you are well aware – each of these types of care is extremely different.
We know the difference, but do your potential patients? It is highly doubtful. Many potential patients are unaware of home health benefits available through Medicare or their insurance until hospitalization, a physician or an educational event. The gaining notoriety of non-medical home care services is in the elderly’s face so much now, the line between skilled and non-skilled care is being blurred.
With national chains such as Interim, who does provide skilled and non-skilled care to strictly private duty companies such as Visiting Angels, Brightstar, Home Instead, and Comfort Keepers to name a few, the message is mixed. Viewing their websites might be helpful, but for many seniors, the commercials portray home care services as concierge service allaying any fears or worries.
This view of home care and home health is how certified agencies run into difficulty with patients. Due to the bombardment of information patients become unaware of the difference between a skilled home health episode and private pay home care. This conflicting view of home care and home health can make patients can get very upset with an agency who limits home health aide visits.
The responsibility now falls to you and your agency to make sure patients are educated and aware of the difference. Educating patients during the start of care by providing an easy to read one page information sheet will help clarify services. This sheet should explain all of the services your agency will provide under the patients insurance or Medicare and the services not covered. While this is already required to be admission packets, this one page sheet provides your agency to offer private duty home care services in addition to skilled home health services.
Offering private duty home care is just another way to expand your home health brand and service line. If you don’t already have a private duty home care agency in place, you should think about this carefully. Taking this step is a further way to expand the continuum of care to patients already within your sphere of influence. Why are you referring patients to non-medical companies and losing out on all of that revenue?
The explanation of skilled vs. non-skilled, non-medical home care will be explained further in our patient newsletter that is available for agencies to subscribe to. If you are not a subscriber and would like more information on our patient newsletter that is released quarterly, please let me know. The newsletter is customized to your agency and is a combined educational and marketing tool that allows you to reach many members of the community. Newsletters are only issued to one agency per area to avoid any duplicate marketing efforts.
If you are interested in adding a private duty home care agency to your existing line of services, please let us know. We can provide you with more information and steps needed to get moving. In certain states, private duty home care agencies do require state licensure.