Home Health Services vs Home Care Services
People often think Home Health Services and Home Care Servives are the same thing. Many agencies use the terms interchangeably, depending on the state you’re in. The terms sound similar and both types of care are delivered in the home. But there are important differences between Home Health Services and Home Care Services. Knowing the differences can help you decide which type of care is right for your needs and budget.
When comparing Home Health services vs. Home Care Services, it’s useful to know the definitions of each as a starting point.
Home Health Services Definition
The Home Health Services definition is medical services (skilled services) provided at home to treat a chronic health condition or help you recover from illness, injury or surgery. Some people start Home Health Services after a health decline or getting diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Many people transition to Home Health Services after a stay in a hospital, rehab center or skilled nursing facility. The primary goals are to help people recover and stay as independent as possible.
Here are some important facts about the Home Health Services definition:
Home Health Services address intermittent, or periodic, needs and may include:
Medical social work
Patient and caregiver education
Help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing from a home health aide
When ordered by a doctor, Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance plans cover the cost of Home Health Services for eligible patients.
Definition of Home Care Services
The definition of Home Care Services is usually non-medical services (non-skilled) helping patients with daily activities to allow people to stay safe at home. It is often used by older adults with chronic illness, those with disabilities and people recovering from surgery. Home Care Services are also sometimes called personal care, companion care, custodial care or homemaker services.
Here are some important facts about the Home Care Services definition:
Home care services may include:
Bathing, toileting, dressing and grooming
House cleaning and other chores
Many patients pay for Home Care Services out of pocket. In some cases, Medicaid or long-term insurance will cover the costs of Home Care Services.
Similarities Between Home Health Services and Home Care Services:
To understand the difference between Home Health Services and Home Care Services, it helps to know the similarities. Both offer:
Care in the comfort and safety of your home
Help for older adults to feel better and stay as independent as possible
Assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing and grooming
Less expensive care than hospital or facility care
Differences Between Home Health Services and Home Care Services:
Some of the key differences between Home Health Services vs. Home Care Services are:
- Type of Care
Home Health Services provide “clinical” or “skilled” care by licensed nurses and therapists.
Home Care Services provides “non-clinical” or “non-skilled” care by professional caregivers.
Home Health Services are more medical in nature. Home health aides are available to help with things like bathing, grooming and dressing until you are safely able to do them again or have a caregiver who can safely assist you. But the focus of care is skilled nursing and therapy.
Home Care Services helps with everyday tasks like bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, cleaning and transportation. It does not include medical care like nursing or therapy.
Home Health Services require a doctor’s order. Patients have to meet certain eligibility criteria. For example, they must have limited ability to leave their home and require assistance to do so.
For Home Care Services there are no eligibility requirements, however it must be authorized by your insurance or you pay out of pocket.
- Care Team
The Home Health Services team is made up of skilled professionals such as nurses and therapists.
The Home Care Services are typically family members and professional care givers.
Home Health Services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans for eligible patients.
Home Care Services are typically paid directly by the patient or long-term care insurance. Medicaid may also cover Home Care Services.
When you’re comparing Home Health Services to Home Care Services, you should know that you can receive both at the same time. Home Health Services provides clinical care to help the patient recover, and Home Care Services helps with day-to-day caregiving and tasks. Home Care For U, Inc. provides both Home Health Services and Home Care Services.