Home Care vs Home Health

September 17, 2023

What’s the difference between home care and home health?

Home care and home health are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different types of services provided in a home setting. Here's an overview of the differences between home care and home health: Home Care: Home care, also known as non-medical or personal care, focuses on assisting individuals with their daily activities and maintaining their overall well-being. Home care services are typically provided by non-medical professionals, such as caregivers or personal support workers. The main goal of home care is to help individuals remain

independent and comfortable in their own homes. Some common services provided in home care include:
  • Assistance with personal hygiene, such as bathing, grooming, and dressing.
  • Help with mobility and transferring.
  • Meal preparation and assistance with feeding.
  • Medication reminders.
  • Light housekeeping and laundry.
  • Companionship and emotional support.
  • Transportation for errands, appointments, or social outings.

Home care services are generally private pay services. There are grants, long term care insurance policies and veteran administration programs at help cover some in home care services. The new thing is that many health insurance plans’ have supplemental Medicare Advantage program which are covering limited in home care services.

Home Health:

Home health care, on the other hand, focuses on providing skilled medical services to individuals who are recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery. Home health services are typically delivered by licensed healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech therapists and covered by health insurance policies. The primary objective of home health care is to provide specialized medical care in the comfort of one's home.

Some common services provided in home health care include:
  • Wound care and dressing changes.
  • Medication management and administration.
  • Intravenous (IV) therapy.
  • Pain management.
  • Rehabilitation therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy.
  • Disease management and education.
  • Monitoring vital signs and overall health status.
  • Coordination with doctors and other healthcare professionals.

In summary, home care focuses on assisting with non-medical tasks and maintaining daily activities, while home health care provides specialized medical services to individuals who require skilled care. The specific services provided in each setting may vary based on the individual's needs and the regulations of the specific country or region. Not all providers that offer Home Health are able to bill health insurance policies. Most Health Insurance policies do not cover Home Care Services. More health care insurance policies are implementing Medicare Advantage plans that are covering up to a specific number of hours of home care services for qualifying members but they are often part of a supplemental benefits plan obtained by the recipient. Call you specific health insurance provider to get more information about your specific plan and what home care and home health services are covered. Please call your local BrightStar Care office to learn what they are or are not able to do for you. Each location is independently owned and operated.