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Home health is a doctor-ordered service designed to help patients improve their ability to function safely at home by teaching patients and their caregivers how to provide effective, appropriate care. Symptom management, medication management, mobility and home safety issues are among the many needs covered.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the many services we provide. However, we must have a doctor’s order to provide care. Talk to your doctor about your need for home-based services.
Home health services are specifically designed to deal with acute medical changes in a patient’s condition. These changes can relate to a worsening of a long-standing diagnosis, a new diagnosis, or a need for support during recovery from a serious illness, injury or surgery. They can be physical or mental in origin.
Your doctor must determine your need for home-based care and write an order for the care. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies have homebound and skilled needs requirements that must be met to in order for them to cover home health care.
No. All care is intermittent, with the frequency of visits determined by the doctor and home health clinician. Typically, visits are about 30 to 45 minutes long, two to three times a week. Appointment times are approximate. If constant supervision or care is what you need, we can help provide referrals to services that offer this level of care.
Care can be provided where you live, whether that is your house or a family member’s, an adult family home, assisted living or retirement home. Home health cannot be provided in a hospital or nursing home (although hospice services can be provided at these locations).
Medicare pays for home health services under Part A or Part B benefits at 100 percent when the patient is eligible for service and meets the criteria for admission. Medicaid coverage of home health services is subject to the limitations of the medical program identified on your Medical ID card. We will verify your coverage before our first visit.
You may be considered "homebound" if you have difficulty leaving home by yourself, require assistance to leave home and/or do not leave home frequently except to go to medical appointments or other treatments related to your medical condition. The nurse or therapist will determine your homebound status as part of our initial assessment visit.
Medicare regulations define skilled care as services that must be performed by a health care professional that are reasonable and necessary for the treatment of your illness or injury. For example, after a hip replacement, the skills of a physical therapist will be necessary to help your recovery. Our team will work with you and your doctor to determine the kind of skilled care you will need.
That type of care is considered non-skilled, or custodial, care and is not covered by Medicare, although sometimes it is covered by private insurance or Medicaid. We can help you research the availability of private insurance or Medicaid coverage for those services.
Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) is the best resource to ask about Medicare supplemental insurance. This is a statewide network of trained volunteers who educate, assist and serve people who have Medicare. SHIBA can be contacted at 800-397-4422.
MultiCare Home Health & Hospice
253-301-6400 or 888-516-4504
3901 S Fife St.
Tacoma, WA 98409
PO Box 5200
Tacoma, WA 98415-0200