Often when physicians or hospital employees say “Home Health,” they mean that the skills of a healthcare professional, like a registered nurse or therapist, are needed after hospitalization to provide continued assistance with recovery. This might mean to continue intravenous antibiotics, draw blood, assess a surgical site, change wound dressings, assist with mobility, assess progress, or provide other services that a physician has ordered. The goal of short-term home health care is to provide treatment for an illness or injury. It helps the individual heal, regain independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible. The goal of long-term home health care (for chronically ill or disabled persons) is to maintain the highest level of ability or health and help individuals learn to live with an illness or disability.
Home Health Agencies are companies which employ nurses, therapists and other healthcare workers who specialize in providing services in patients’ homes. These healthcare professionals travel to an individual’s home for a specific time period as specified by a physician. The home health staff provides and helps to coordinate the care and/or therapy prescribed by a doctor. The doctor and home health staff create a written plan for the care of the patient. It specifies what services an individual needs to reach and maintain their best physical, mental, and social well-being. Home health staff members report an individual’s status to the physician on an ongoing basis. Home health nurses and therapists become the link to the physician to keep him or her apprised of an individual’s condition and be notified promptly should the patient require additional care or attention.
Home health staff instructs individuals and their caregivers on how to continue any needed care, including medication, wound care, therapy, and stress management. Since most home health care is intermittent and part-time, individuals and caregivers learn how to identify and care for possible problems.
Consumer Direct operates sister companies, Home Health of Montana and Covenant Home Health, to provide Medicare home health services. In addition, these companies provide private and insurance-funded home health services.