Home Health, Hospice & Palliative Care:Frequently Asked Questions
How Soon After Discharge Will My Home Health Care Begin?
We prefer to have our first visit with patients within 24 hours of discharge from the hospital. Our ability to see patients quickly is dependent on the coordination of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital’s Case Management and Social Work team, as well as patient consent and schedule. Residential nurses are available to start care 7 days a week throughout our service areas in Illinois and Michigan. With our well-staffed team of therapists, including physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists (speech language pathologists), we can also initiate therapy 7 days a week. Residential does not contract staff for patient care; we directly employ all of our own clinicians for improved continuity of care and service levels.
What Should I Expect During My First Home Health Care Visit?
When starting care, the clinician will talk with the patient and family caregiver(s) to gather and document a complete picture of the patient’s health history, current issues, emergency contacts, medication usage and any other information necessary for the Residential care team to provide the best and safest service.
The clinician will also perform a physical evaluation of the patient to determine what services are most appropriate and the best course of action to increase the patient’s independence and safety in the home.
When care begins, the clinician also provides a binder called My Home Care Compass which contains important information that will be helpful throughout and beyond the home health care experience. This innovative, all-inclusive collection of resources is individualized for each patient and provided exclusively through Residential Home Health.
Residential Home Health’s clinicians and staff are dedicated to coordinating and delivering expert services to ensure patients receive appropriate and exceptional care to improve their quality of life, safety and independence at home.
When ordered by a patient’s physician, skilled home care services covered by Medicare include:
- Registered Nursing
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
Additional services such as Occupational Therapy, Medical Social Work, Registered Dietician services, Wound Certified Nursing, and Home Health Aide services may accompany skilled service to provide a clinical approach to achieve self-management.
What Does Home Health Care Cost?
Medicare covers 100% of eligible home health services, so getting treatment from a home health agency that is Medicare-certified actually reduced your out-of-pocket costs.
Here are some specific criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for home health care under Medicare:
- Home health care is ordered by the patient’s physician
- The patient is “homebound” (can’t leave the home unassisted, or leaving the home isn’t recommended because of a patient’s condition); the patient can still leave the home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons such as attending religious services
- The home health care agency is Medicare-certified
We’ve created a guide for patients and caregivers to help you choose the right home health agency for you or your loved one. We’ve included answers to questions provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support an informed decision-making process.
Residential Home Health has Home Care Specialists available at 866-902-4000 to answer any questions regarding Medicare coverage and Residential’s home care options.
What other insurances does Residential Home Health accept?
- BCBS medical groups for DuPage Medical IHP (Illinois Health Partners)
- United Health Care
- A variety of other commercial payors
If you have questions regarding your specific coverage, please call us at (866) 902-4000.
What Isn’t Covered?
Below are some examples of what Medicare doesn’t pay for:
- 24-hour-a-day care at home
- Meals delivered to your home
- Homemaker services like shopping, cleaning, and laundry when this is the only care you need, and when these services aren’t related to your plan of care
- Personal care given by home health aides like bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom when this is the only care you need
Medicare only covers services provided by the home health agency. Other medical services, such as visits to your doctor, may still be covered by your other Medicare benefits. Visit http://go.usa.gov/iDJ to view or print out a copy of the “Medicare & You” handbook.
How Does A Patient Qualify For Hospice Care?
A physician must certify that he/she believes that the patient is within six months of death.
Where Do I Get My Hospice Care?
Hospice care is provided in a patient’s home, a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living facility. Under special circumstances, care can be provided in an inpatient hospice unit at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.
Does Medicare/private Insurance Cover Hospice Care?
Hospice care is covered 100 percent by Medicare. Elmhurst Memorial Hospice does not charge any co-payments for hospice care. Most private insurance companies also have a hospice benefit. If you are unsure if your insurance will cover your care, we will be happy to work with you to determine if you are covered.
What's The Difference Between Palliative And Hospice Care?
Palliative care is whole-person care that relieves symptoms of disease or disorder, whether or not it can be cured. Hospice is a specific type of palliative care for people who likely have six months or less to live. Click here to view the differences between hospice and palliative care.
Who Provides Palliative Care?
Palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team that may include a doctor who specializes in palliative medicine, an advance practice nurse, pharmacist, social worker and chaplain. Read more information about the palliative care team here.
Does Medicare/private Insurance Cover Palliative Care?
Most private insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offer palliative care and hospice benefits. Medicare offers hospice benefits, and extra Medicare plan (Part B) offers some palliative benefits.
If I Agree To Palliative Care, Does That Mean I'm "Giving Up?"
Absolutely not. The goal of palliative care is to make you comfortable and help you achieve the best possible quality of life. You can have palliative care while you are undergoing treatments that may cure or reverse the effects of your illness. In fact, palliative care can help you cope with aggressive treatments by getting our pain symptoms under control to help you fight the disease.