Frequently Asked Questions
What is home healthcare?
Home healthcare can help you live independently in your home. We can assist with and provide
comprehensive care for you, all delivered in your home environment under the direction of your personal
physician. Services and programs are provided if you have a medical condition that can be:
- Helped by the skill of a nurse, including: recovery from an illness, accident or surgery, wound care, help with medications and/or injections, physical, occupational and speech-language rehabilitation, therapy services, clinical management of a chronic disease and/or monitoring a serious illness
- Patient and caregiver education
Home healthcare requires a skilled need that a nurse or physical therapist can provide. Nursing care by VNS is provided with a teamwork approach involving the patient first, physician, family, caregivers, and members of the healthcare team.
Personal care (or private duty care) is usually provided by a home health aide and does not require a nurse, but is necessary when you need help at home with bathing, dressing, moving around or meal preparation.
Who pays for home healthcare?
- Home healthcare can be covered through a variety of sources if your care is medically necessary and you meet certain coverage requirements: Medicare – traditional Medicare pays 100% of the cost for home healthcare if you are 65 years of age or over or permanently disabled
- Medicaid – Medicaid health insurance helps those with limited income who can't afford medical care, and will pay for some or all of their medical bills
- HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organizations) – companies have contracts with doctors and other healthcare providers and are directly involved in your medical treatment. HMO health insurance plans are generally the cheapest kind of coverage available, but also the most restrictive. Benefits vary per policy and verification of benefits is required
- Workers Compensation Insurance – “Workers comp” covers you if you are injured on the job, whether hurt on the workplace or elsewhere, in an auto accident while on business, and covers work-related illnesses/medical and rehabilitation services
- Private Pay – an option for services not covered as outlined above; you may choose to pay out of pocket
When insurance does not cover a needed service, fees are adjusted based on your ability to pay. Our Patient Account Representatives can help you find out what your insurance will cover. Call 585.787.2233 for more information.
Why do I need home healthcare?
- Illness, surgical procedure, injury, or any number of life events may require you to have in-home healthcare as you recover
- As hospital stays decrease, you may need highly skilled services when you return home
- If you need continued care that can’t easily or effectively be provided by family members
- Services are available with 24 hour on call nurses to assist seven days a week
What are the requirements for home health care?
- You must be considered homebound
- You are under the care of a physician who manages and authorizes the need for services
- You require some type of skilled nursing services or need therapy from a Physical, Occupational, and/or
What is the definition of homebound?
In general, you are homebound if:
- You have an illness or injury that restricts your ability to leave home unless you have help, or if it takes a considerable and taxing effort to leave home (if you need a wheelchair, special transportation, or other assistance)
- Absences from the home must be infrequent or for a short period of time, as in only leaving your home for medical care
- Trips out cannot last longer than one to two hours or occur more often than one to two times per week for activities like grocery shopping, attending a worship service or going to a hair appointment
You are not considered homebound if:
- You are able to drive
- You leave your home for reasons other than receiving medical treatment
- The absences are long and frequent, such as frequent shopping trips or visits to friends
How often are visits made?
A home health nurse comes as often as needed. Everyone’s needs are different and visits are coordinated and scheduled according to your specific needs.
What about home medical equipment and supplies?
We can coordinate and arrange delivery for all your home medical equipment, including:
- Wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commodes, bathroom safety equipment
- Oxygen, nebulizers, respiratory supplies
How do I choose a home care agency?
You can get started by visiting the free “Home Health Compare” tool online – the official U.S. government site for Medicare benefits information, located at http://www.medicare.gov/HHCompare. Here you can compare both certified and licensed home healthcare agencies in our area, see what types of programs and services they offer, and see the quality of care they provide, including patient outcomes. Home Health Compare also provides the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of each agency in your area, along with other important information.