Home Healthcare FAQs

Home Home Healthcare FAQs

What is home health care?

Home health care provides medical treatment for an illness or injury, with the goal of helping you recover, regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. More than just providing excellent care in your home, home health care also saves billions of dollars each year. There is no more cost-effective provider of health care in our country. Your physician may order our clinicians to help you at home for; wound care, diabetes education and glucose management, pain management, neuropathy, uncontrolled high or low blood pressure, exacerbation of Congestive Heart Failure or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, decline in balance or strength or endurance, history of falling, change in a medication, recover from a stroke or TIA, or heart attack, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, dehydration, incontinence, arthritis pain, hip or knee replacement, or even difficulty sleeping.

Who pays for home health care services?

Foster gladly accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most Private Insurance Carriers. Physician ordered services are covered at 100% for traditional Medicare beneficiaries!  Prior to your start of care Foster will gladly pre-verify your benefits for your peace of mind!  Medicare Replacement policies will also be verified.. If a patient has dual coverage by Medicare and Medicaid then Medicare is your primary payor source.

Who is eligible for home health care?

There are several requirements for receiving home health care:

  • You must have a doctor prescribe home health care. Foster Home Healthcare often makes this request on the behalf of our patients.
  • You must need either skilled nursing care on an intermittent basis or therapy services (i.e., physical/occupational/speech therapy.
  • You must be restricted in your ability to leave home (“homebound”) during your plan of care, and your homebound status must be certified by a physician. This is required by Medicare while receiving our services-not permanently.

This means that you require the help or supervision of another person, or you use a supportive device such as a cane or walker. You can leave the home as often as you need for medical treatment. You are allowed brief and infrequent absences from the home for some non-medical reasons, such as an occasional trip to the barber/beauty shop or a walk around the block.

What can I expect on the first home health care visit?

On the first visit, a nurse or therapist will conduct an initial evaluation. At Foster, this thorough interview and evaluation is part of our coordinated approach to managing your overall health status. Our evaluation focuses on educating you in self-care management and partners with your doctor to promote disease prevention and proactive care – which includes the family or caregivers.
This team approach facilitates an easier transition for you from a hospital or nursing facility to your home, and actively engages you and your caregivers in your health care.

How often will my home health care visits be?

The frequency of home health care visits and the services provided are based on your doctor’s orders in your personal plan of care. Your doctor may change your plan of care, increasing or decreasing the number of visits or services provided, in order to provide you with the best home health care for your needs.

Will Foster create a care plan just for me or my loved one?

Yes. After your doctor refers you to Foster Home Health Care, a Foster clinician will come to your home to assess your needs. We will communicate with your doctor to discuss the assessment and work together to develop your personal plan of care. Foster Home Health Care staff will implement your physician-ordered plan of care and keep your doctor updated about your progress. If your condition or needs change, we’ll collaborate with your doctor to review your plan of care and make any adjustments deemed necessary. Medicare pays for a Physician ordered Skilled Home Healthcare episode (60 days) which may include a Skilled Nurse (SN), Physical Therapist (PT), Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Therapist (ST) (either a SN, PT or ST are necessary to receive bathing by a MCR covered HHA) and a Home Health Aide. Home Care normally refers to unskilled/PCA attendant services that are private pay or MCD covered to fill in the gaps of the MCD Physician ordered HHA for bathing up to 3 times per week). Of course if a patient has both MCR and MCD (dual coverage or dual eligibility) then although billed separately to MCR and MCD both services may coordinate to provide additional care for these patients.

Can Foster help me manage my chronic disease?

offers health care services such as skilled nursing, home health aides, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to help you manage your chronic disease. We can also offer specialized chronic disease management programs that focus on actively involving you in your health care process, addressing many disease conditions.

Chronic Disease Management Care from Home (Foster has developed 10 Programs for Chronic Disease Management to help you from Home!)

Living with a chronic disease can be challenging, but patients who take an active role in their own care can make more informed choices and are less likely to be rehospitalized down the road. Our Chronic Care Management programs focus on involving patients in the health care process so they can achieve more independence and a better quality of life. The goal of each of our programs is to decrease hospitalizations for the long term. We use the most current medical evidence to develop our clinical and patient education, and plans for patient care. Our approach to patient care starts with disease management education. We teach our patients the tools they need to self-manage and identify red flags that may cause their condition or symptoms to worsen – promoting early intervention and greater independence.

My doctor is ordering home health care for me; can I request Foster by name?

Absolutely, and we’d be honored to care for you or your loved one. Federal law gives patients the freedom to choose their health care provider under Medicare.

What does “homebound status” mean?

Essentially, your condition should be such that there exists a “normal inability to leave home” and doing so would require considerable and taxing effort. Generally speaking, you would be considered homebound if you have a condition due to an illness or injury that restricts your ability to leave home without the aid of an assistive device (such as crutches, canes, walkers or wheelchairs), without the assistance of another person, or if leaving the home is medically inadvisable. You can leave the home as often as you need for medical treatment that cannot be provided in the home. Further, you are allowed brief and infrequent absences from the home for some non-medical reasons, such as an occasional trip to the barber/beauty shop, to attend church, or for unique family events (like a graduation).

What qualifies as a “home” when home health care is being considered?

A patient’s residence is wherever she makes her home. This may be her house, an apartment, a relative’s home, a home for the aged, or some other type of institution. However, a hospital, skilled nursing facility (SNF) or intermediate care facility (ICF) is not considered the patient’s home.

What’s the difference between home care, home health care and hospice care?

Home-care agencies perform household and personal care services, like preparing meals, cleaning, and helping with bathing or dressing.
Home health care provides medical treatment for an illness or injury, with the goal of helping you recover, regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. Home health care can also help you live in the comfort of your home with a chronic condition, like heart disease, COPD, or diabetes. Additionally, home health care can include some personal care services, like help bathing and dressing, as part of the plan of care ordered by your doctor. Hospice care is designed to provide non-curative treatment and comfort for those who are facing a life-limiting illness. It offers a support system of medical, social, psychological, and spiritual services that support a patient, their family, and other loved ones.

How does Foster use technology to collaborate with my doctor?

Foster clinicians are all equipped with point-of-care laptops to more efficiently record and track your progress.