What is Home Health Care

Many people erroneously get home care services confused with home health care agencies.  There is a general lack of knowledge and information not only in the general population but also among the ranks of medical professionals about the scope of service home health care agencies provide versus non-medical home care agencies.  Many of our clients not only need non-medical home care, but also require some form of home health care as well.  As a result, we work closely with several of metro Atlanta’s most reputable home health care agencies to ensure our clients have access to the full spectrum of care they require.    

Home Health Care

Generally home health care agencies primarily engage in providing skilled nursing and/or therapy services in the residence of the patient/client.  The types of services commonly associated with home health agencies consists of one or more of the following skilled health services:

  • nursing, including blood pressure monitoring and diabetes treatment
  • physical, occupational, speech, or respiratory therapy
  • medical social service
  • intravenous therapy
  • dialysis
  • service provided by unlicensed personnel under the delegation or supervision of a licensed health professional
  • the furnishing of medical equipment and supplies, excluding drugs and medicines; or
  • nutritional counseling.

Home health agencies are public or private organizations that are licensed by the Georgia Department of Community Health.  Home health care services are usually covered by an individual’s health insurance or Medicare and are provided under orders established by a physician.

Non-Medical Home Care

 In contrast home care does not require a doctor’s order and is not covered by Medicare or health insurance.  Usually the service is paid for through private funds, long term care insurance or Veterans benefits.  Check with your long term care insurance company for their specific requirements as they vary by company.

Home care is usually defined as routine ongoing care or services required by an individual in a residence or independent living environment that enable the individual to engage in the activities of daily living or to perform the physical functions required for independent living, including respite services. The term usually encompasses the full spectrum of personal care, homemaking and companionship services.  It is important to note that medication administration is not within the scope of non-medical home care agencies.

Home care agencies in Georgia that also provide hands-on, personal care, such as the Atlanta Northeast Office of Griswold Home Care, must be licensed by the State of Georgia as a personal care provider agency.  The following services are usually associated with personal care:

  • bathing
  • dressing
  • grooming
  • feeding
  • exercising
  • toileting
  • positioning
  • assisting with self-administered medications
  • routine hair and skin care; and
  • transfer or ambulation.

While home health care and non-medical home care are easily confused, there are very distinct and clear regulatory and scope of service differences.  If you are still confused or if you have questions please feel free to give us a call to discuss your specific situation.