Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about home health services. After reviewing this page, if you still have questions, please call Home Care Services at 865.544.6200.
- What is Home Healthcare?
- What Makes Someone Eligible for Home Healthcare?
- Who Provides Home Health Care Services?
- Which Home Healthcare Services are Available in My Community?
- Ordering Home Healthcare Services?
- Which Services Does Home Healthcare Provide?
- What is “Homebound,” and What Does It Mean to Me?
- What If I Do Not Have Medicare Coverage?
- Where Do I Call if Problems Occur with a Home Healthcare Provider?
- Why are UT Medical Center Home Care Services Different than Other Home Health Providers?
- Which Skilled Services are Available to the Medicare Home Health Patient?
Q. What is Home Healthcare?
A. Home healthcare gives a person the option of staying home for his healthcare needs. There are a wide variety of home healthcare services and products available to help people of all ages. Home healthcare also offers some tremendous benefits such as shortening the length of a hospital stay or eliminating the need for an elderly person to live in a nursing home.
While there are many reasons to consider home healthcare services, the biggest advantage is that it provides the quality healthcare you need in the comfort of your own home.
Q. What Makes Someone Eligible for Home Healthcare?
A. Anyone from pediatric to adult patients requiring care is eligible. Home care can provide the services needed in the privacy of one’s own home. Some special eligibility requirements must be met for Medicare to authorize payment. For example, a patient must be homebound.
Q. Who Provides Home Health Care Services?
A. Different agencies supply different functions of home healthcare service. Licensed home healthcare agencies provide medical care and support services. Home medical equipment companies provide medical equipment and supplies. Infusion companies can provide medications, nutrients, intravenous pharmaceuticals and other supplies. Licensed hospice organizations also are available to provide hospice services to the terminally ill. A variety of other support companies offer additional services and personnel, including sitters and homemakers.
Q. Which Home Healthcare Services are Available in My Community?
A. Ask your physician, hospital discharge planner, nursing home coordinator, friends or relatives. Consult the local telephone directory or call the Tennessee Association for Home Care at 615.885.3399. Call UT Medical Center’s Home Care Services at 865.544.6200 or 800.284.8224.
Q. Ordering Home Healthcare Services?
A. Talk to your physician. To ensure that your home healthcare needs are properly met, your physician will order all medical care, equipment, supplies and medications. You may order other support services. Ask your home healthcare provider about all the services available.
Q. Which Services Does Home Healthcare Provide?
A. Even though services may vary from agency to agency, the following are a few of the home healthcare services typically available.
- Nursing Care
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Personal Care Assistance
- Social Work
- Equipment / Supplies
- Home Care Pharmaceuticals
Q. What is “Homebound,” and What Does It Mean to Me?
A. “Homebound” is a term that means a person is unable to leave his home without “considerable and taxing” effort. Under the Medicare definition, a “homebound” person does not have to be bedridden or confined to a wheelchair but has to experience great difficulty leaving the home because of an illness or handicap. Also the homebound status does not have to be permanent. A person can be considered “homebound” and still leave the house, especially to receive medical treatment. They also may have a temporary condition that makes them “homebound” for only a short period of time.
Q. What If I Do Not Have Medicare Coverage?
A. The homebound status does not necessarily apply to all patients. Insurance companies have their own rules regarding whether or not patients are required to be homebound. Check your insurance policy to understand your coverage.
Q. Where Do I Call if Problems Occur with a Home Healthcare Provider?
A. First call the home healthcare provider and ask for the chief executive officer or the manager and discuss the problem. If you can not find the answers you need there, call the State Department of Health and Environment at 800.641.7367.
Q. Why are UT Medical Center Home Care Services Different than Other Home Health Providers?
A. By use of Home Care Clinical Pathways, Home Care Services ensures consistent and thorough care as well as provides education to each patient and family member. Each patient receives an individualized number of visits to ensure that goals can be met. Home Care clinical staff members utilize laptop computers to document patient care and to maintain communication with the administrative office. Staff members work in the community where the patients live, which enables them to spend more time with each patient. Patient Care Coordinators who are registered nurses, oversee patient care, supervise field staff and are a resource in the central office.
Q. Which Skilled Services are Available to the Medicare Home Health Patient?
A. The types of skilled services available include the following.
- Management and evaluation of a patient’s disease process and treatments.
- Assessment and observation of a patient’s acute condition or chronic condition during an exacerbation period.
- Teaching and training regarding a patient’s disease state or condition and the treatment plan associated with the home care plan.
- Administration of treatments.