If you or a loved one is living with one or more chronic health conditions, you may know too well the cycle of doctor’s visits or trips to the hospital for help managing symptoms. Depending on your situation, it can be difficult or inconvenient to leave home, find transportation or afford the additional medical bills.

Image of a man in an in-home physical therapy session with his therapist

But did you know that having home health services can also help you avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses and trips to the hospital? Home health services are focused on helping you manage a change in your chronic condition or recover from an illness, surgery or accident. Care is designed to promote health, independence, and quality of life.

Here are eight ways home health can benefit both your budget and independence.

  1. More visits at the beginning of your care. When you begin receiving home health services, your care team will coordinate with your physician so your care extends seamlessly from where you previously were. You can receive concentrated visits at the beginning of your care and lessen the frequency as you gain independence. By spending more time with you at home up front, you’re less likely to need to return to the hospital, increasing hospital bills or ambulance fees. When you need less care, you’re still covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week should a need arise.
  2. Help setting goals. Your care team provides health evaluations help you set realistic goals for long-term recovery or condition management so you stay on track. By sticking with the plan, you’re less likely to re-injure yourself or suffer setbacks that could lead to additional physician’s office or hospital visits.
  3. Keeping track of early warning signs. Your care team will provide training for you or your loved ones so you’re able to identify early symptoms that could lead to complications in your care.
  4. In-home therapy. After a hospital stay, there’s nowhere you’d rather be more than home. With home health, you can receive occupational, physical and speech therapy from the comfort of home. By taking away the stress of transportation to and from outpatient appointments, you can focus on therapy in an environment you need to become used to again. Your therapists can help you get back into your routine of daily activity, walking up or down stairs, using a new assistive device or recommendations on how to conserve energy.
  5. Medication planning and reminders. Even the right prescriptions can cause poor reactions if you happen to take them incorrectly. Your home health care team can help you avoid unwanted reactions to prescriptions that could lead to hospital stays by teaching you about your medications, helping you get organized and going through the routine with you until you’re ready to do it independently.
  6. Education on leading a healthy lifestyle. An important part of the healing process is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and your team will work with you to make improvements to your nutrition and exercise, as well as leading a healthier lifestyle, such as smoking cessation.
  7. Social services. Care for your condition goes well beyond your health. Medical social workers are part of your care team and can help with financial and social resources available in your community. Maybe you need help with transportation or help establishing a long-term plan—the social workers on your team can help.
  8. Medicare coverage. Home health is covered 100% by Medicare, as long as you meet certain guidelines. Your doctor must certify that you:
  • Need skilled nursing or therapy services, such as physical, occupational or speech
  • Are homebound, meaning that leaving home would be harmful to your health or you need the assistance of another person or assistive device in order to leave home, such as a walker, wheelchair or crutches

If you or a loved one is struggling to manage your condition at home, ask your doctor  if home health care may be right for you. For more information about how Kindred at Home can help, call 1.866.KINDRED to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

By Craig Layne