Simplifying Home Health Care Services
Home Health Services in the State of Florida are performed in many different ways. Home health services can be delivered by licensed and registered providers as well as independent health care providers. These providers include:
Home Health Providers in Florida
- Home Health Agencies
- Nurse Registries
- Home Medical Equipment Providers
- Homemaker/Companion Services
- Independent Health Care Professionals
These providers provide services according to how they are licensed by the State of Florida. Each provider must practice within the scope of their license and provide only those services they have been licensed to provide. These services include:
Home Health Services in Florida
- Nursing Care
- Physical, occupational, respiratory, or speech therapy
- Home health aide
- Medical social services
- Nutritional counseling
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Homemaker/companion services
Home health services are provided in the home by companies who provide employees or independent contractors as well as independent healthcare professionals. You can find a complete list of companies on FloridaHealthFinder.gov. If you choose to employ an independent health care professional, be sure to determine who will be responsible for paying employment taxes, income withholding, and unemployment taxes. (It is either them or you.)
Who Provides the Services?
Home health agencies and nurse registries provide nurses, certified nursing assistants, home health aides, or homemakers/companions to offer services to the patients where they reside. Depending upon the need, these providers can offer nursing care; physical, speech, occupational, respiratory, and IV therapy; assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting) or companion/homemaking services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. Additionally, other providers offer home medical equipment; nutritional guidance; and medical social services.
Who Pays for These Services?
Most services are available to individuals no matter where they reside if they wish to pay the provider out-of-pocket. This is often called Private Duty Home Care. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, often these services are covered though you will want to review your policy for any restrictions. Otherwise, a doctor’s order is required to obtain services that will be paid for by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Although, there are specific services that are not considered “medically necessary” and therefore not covered by Medicare.
What is Not Covered by Medicare
Help with Activities of Daily Living (unless skilled services are also ordered)
24-hour care at home
Meals delivered to your home
Skilled services are provided by a licensed individual such as a nurse, or physical, speech, occupational, or respiratory therapist. A patient’s doctor must sign a doctor’s order for skilled services and a plan of care will be developed. The patient has the right to be included in their own plan of care and their doctor will review the plan periodically to discuss progress with the home health provider.
Non-skilled services are provided by unlicensed individuals and include tasks like help with bathing, grooming, dressing, medication reminders, and toileting. Companions/Homemakers provide unskilled services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. These services do not require a doctor’s order or a plan of care. Often these tasks are completed by certified nursing assistants and home health aides with training appropriate to the tasks they are permitted to perform.
Do you need skilled or unskilled services and how do you find them?
Great question! We are going to take a closer look at skilled home health and private duty home care in the next article. Stay tuned!
- All facts from this article are based on information from the AHCA Consumer Guide Home Health Care in Florida.
(This piece was originally written when I was a guest blogger for Amy B. Van Fossen, PA.)