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What is medical home healthcare?

Medical home care is advanced care at home provided by nurses, physical therapist and other medically trained professionals. Medical home care is typically used after an acute illness or a discharge from a hospital. Patients often use medical home care for a short time until they are feeling better although some patients may require long term medical care.

For example:

Aunt Susie was walking in the snow on crisp January morning when she fell and broke her knee. She was admitted to the hospital and required surgery to fix her knee. She had problems walking before the surgery but now, she is much worse. She can no longer walk with her cane and needs help getting out of bed. She recieved some physical therapy at the hospital but is far from being back to her baseline function. And now the doctor wants to send her home!

This is quite common and getting back home can often be the best thing for patients after a sudden illness or injury.

But how will Aunt Susie make it to her physical therapist appointments? And who will check her wounds to make sure they are healing properly?

This is the realm of medical based home care. In Aunt Susie’s case, she will likely require a home physical therapist to help her regain her ability to walk without assistance. She may also need a nurse to assess her wounds and change her bandages.

While Aunt Susie may only need PT and bandage changes, the entire spectrum of medical home care is quite broad.

What does medical home care include?

  1. Physical Therapy
  2. Speech Therapy (Speech-language pathology)
  3. Occupational therapy
  4. Wound care
  5. Ventilator assistance
  6. Medication administration including IV and central lines.
  7. PICC line care
  8. Feeding tube care
  9. Blood tests
  10. Injections
  11. Tracheostomy Care
  12. Catheter care
  13. Ostomy Care

How do I get medical home care?

In order to qualify for home healthcare you must meet certain criteria. These include:

  1. You must be considered “homebound”. According to Medicare, to be considered homebound the patient must have a health condition where leaving the home is contraindicated. Or they need crutches, canes, wheelchairs or special transport to leave their place of residence. Leaving home must “require considerable and taxing effort”.
  2. Need skilled home care services.
  3. Be under the care of a doctor.
  4. Have a plan of care reviewed by a doctor.
  5. Have a face-to-face encounter with a doctor or advanced practitioner.

Updated on December 24, 2018

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