Home health care agencies provide medical and skilled nursing services in clients' homes. To learn about non-medical in-home services, refer to the Home Care Services tab.
What is home health care?
Home health care can include skilled nursing, occupational, respiratory, speech and physical therapy or home health aide. It can include assistance with dressing, bathing, toileting and self-administered medications. Home health care covers the use of assistive devices such as walkers, hospital beds, wheelchairs and oxygen. Home health care is usually medically oriented and is different from the homemaker and personal care services mentioned in the next section. People who provide home health care can be registered and licensed practical nurses, therapists or homemaker/home health aides. They usually work through a home health agency, hospital or public health department.
Kansas home health agencies must be licensed and surveyed annually. You may be able to verify their reputation through your local health department, Area Agency on Aging, or Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Ask the agency if they are accredited by additional professional organizations and request a copy of the accreditation report. All home health agencies are required to follow the Client Bill of Rights and a copy should be given to each client. If you have any care related problems, call 800-842-0078.
What programs help pay for home health care?
Medicare or Medicaid may pay for home health visits if all of the following conditions are met. You:
- Must be homebound;
- Need intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, or speech therapy;
- Must be under the care of a doctor who determines you need home health care and sets up a home health care plan;
- Must use a home health agency certified to provide Medicare services;
- Meet the age and resource eligibility guidelines when using Medicaid. You do not have to pay a deductible or coinsurance when you receive home health care covered by Medicare, with the exception of a 20% co-payment on durable medical equipment (like a wheelchair). Private insurance, Medicare supplement or long term care insurance may also cover some home health care expenses. Many home health agencies also offer services on a private pay basis. There may be other sources of funding assistance available as well. Call your local Area Agency on Aging for programs and eligibility information.
Usually, individuals receiving home health care services pay for these services themselves. Some health insurance and long term care insurance plans cover home health care, and short-term services may be covered by Medicaid or Medicare.