Is It Time for Home Health Care? Look for These 6 Signs.
We know that as a provider, you work hard for your patients—getting them the best care possible for their needs. And sometimes, that means admitting and treating a patient in the hospital. However, for many patients recovering from surgery or who are managing minor illnesses or chronic health conditions, home health care can give them the extra support they need to maintain their independence and to thrive in their own homes.
To receive home health care services, a physician must order them. Home health care must also be medically necessary. And with home health care becoming more popular among patients (and an expected 7.9% growth rate through 2023), it’s important that physicians know when to consider this option.
Here are 6 signs home health care could benefit your patient.
1. Your patient has a new diagnosis
A new diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and may mean a lot of lifestyle changes. Take diabetes, for example. When a patient is first diagnosed with diabetes, they must understand how to manage the disease, how to test blood sugar levels, and how to adjust to medications and diet.
Home health care gives patients one-on-one education and additional support as they find ways to cope—all at home. Their condition also may improve faster with comprehensive skilled nursing care.
2. Your patient’s existing chronic condition has worsened
Has your patient recently lost a lot of weight? Do they show signs of poor hygiene? Are they having trouble with daily tasks? For many patients—especially older adults—it can get harder to manage a chronic condition if it gets worse. Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, heart disease and cancer, for example, can all put a strain on a patient and their family.
Home health care can give a patient supportive care and help coordinate care across many specialists and appointments. A home health professional can:
- Help with safety assessments
- Teach a patient what to eat and drink
- Show patients how to adapt to their condition
- Take vitals
- Watch for side effects
3. Your patient visits you or the hospital frequently
It’s important to keep an eye on how often your patient needs medical care. If they call you a lot or visit the Emergency Department (ED) often, it might be a sign they could use home health care. Often, symptoms can be managed at home. By delivering care directly to the patient, we can help them avoid expensive hospital bills and can keep the ED open for others.
4. Your patient is homebound
If your patient is homebound, it’s likely they would benefit from home health care. In fact, a patient must be homebound for Medicare to cover the costs.
Medicare considers a patient homebound if he or she:
- Has a normal inability to leave the home and leaving must require a considerable and taxing effort
- Can’t leave their home safely without help from another person or special device
- Has a physician who recommends they don’t leave home because of their condition
5. Your patient needs skilled, ongoing care
After surgery, illness or injury, your patient may need help regaining their strength or relearning daily skills. Home health care offers services, such as skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
If your patient has trouble moving, needs to relearn daily functions (such as eating, bathing or dressing) or needs help communicating, they might benefit from home health care services.
6. Your patient needs supportive devices
Another sign your patient may need extra help at home is if they have trouble moving or require special devices. Home health care supports patients, so they can avoid falls and learn how to safely use medical equipment.
Supportive devices that may require support include:
- Assistive technology
- Crutches, canes, wheelchairs and walkers
- Feeding devices
- Medication administration equipment
- Respiratory equipment
- Telehealth equipment
Doing what’s best for your patient
As you consider home health care for your patient, it’s ultimately about doing what’s best for them. There are signs that a patient may benefit from recovering where they live, and it’s important to be on the lookout for them.
Whatever you decide, know that Traditions Health is here to help. We offer a variety of home health services that support your patient as they recover. You remain their main provider, with a home health care professional serving as a connection between you, the patient and their family.
Have questions or interested in learning more? Click the button below to request care.
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