Home health is a service provided to recovering, disabled, or chronically ill person. It provides treatment to help the patient function in a home environment. Home health provides a wide range of health and social services delivered at home whether its medical, nursing, social, or therapeutic treatment. With the many advances in technology and medical equipment home health allows patients to receive treatment in home versus a visit to the hospital or a stay in a long-term care facility. A patient choosing to receive home health feels that it gives them a sense of independence and comfort.
Home health services all types of patients who are homebound, confined to the home expect for infrequent or relatively short absences that require considerable and taxing effort. These patients are usually recovering, disabled, and chronically or terminally ill. In order for a patient to be considered for home health they will need a patient referral, which can come from a variety of services, such as hospital discharge planners, patients, patients’ physicians, insurance companies through their case management programs, PPOs, and HMOs. Home health care provide their patients with many different specialty services and they have home health aides who are provided by skilled nursing agencies to render these services.
These specialty services range from physical therapy to Meals on Wheels. Physical therapist establishes a home exercise and maintenance program for the patient. Occupational therapists assist the patient to become independent with personal care duties. Speech-language pathologists teach proper swallowing techniques, word formation, and word enunciation. Medical social services help the patient and family members cope with the disease process. Nutrition service which helps with the dieting needs. Respiratory therapist help teach techniques to increase efficiency in the lungs. They offer patient transportation services, respite care to the caregiver, and Meals on Wheels to patients who are unable to leave their homes.
Home health care requires all medical records and documentation to be up to date and current according to Medicare and Medicare Conditions of Participation. The medical record should contain the patient’s outline of care, the diagnosis, types of services that should be provided, frequency and duration of visits, medication and treatments, safety measures, durable medical equipment, nutritional requirements, functional limitations, allergies, mental status, prognosis, activities of daily living, goals, rehabilitation potential, and discharge notes. As you can see from the items listed to be placed in the medical record it is totally different from a chart in a clinic or hospital. This documentation of physician certification of the need for home care is a requirement for payment under Medicare. As part of the certification form, that is included in the medical record, the physician must document how the patient’s clinical condition...