Your patient is about to head home after receiving round-the-clock care. Given their condition, how well equipped are they to pick up where you and your team left off? Without assistance, it’s possible that a patient will have trouble following their recommended plan of care. They may even require rehospitalization if they don’t have someone to help them effectively manage their condition and avoid potential risks while recovering. Home health care provides patient support so that those still under your care can safely recover and regain their independence in the comfort of their own homes.
Sometimes patients are uncomfortable with the idea of home health care, and it’s important to understand why so you can address their concerns. Here are a few of the most common reasons that patients decline home health care:
- They may be concerned about the costs of home health care.
- They may have reservations about welcoming a stranger into their home who will tell them what to do.
- They may feel that they don’t need the care, overestimating their ability to manage on their own.
- They may not understand the benefits of home health care or may not even know it exists.
Patients may seek out their physicians’ attention more frequently if they don’t have the right level of care at home. This can create strain for physicians and teams, and when they are stretched too thin, it’s harder for physicians and their staff to give patients the attention they need. With the collaboration of a trustworthy home health provider, you and your patients can achieve better outcomes and avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
Help your patients help themselves
You can help prepare your patients for home health care by encouraging them to consider how they’ll manage recovery once they’re discharged from the hospital.
The primary goals of home health
Home health is designed to help patients regain their functional abilities in the comfort of home through skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy, and the assistance of home health aides. Home health clinicians and therapists can be the eyes and ears in the home to help doctors make more informed follow-up recommendations. These clinicians also support patients in achieving medical stability, adopting new practices for disease and medication management and building confidence to take healthy actions for themselves. Receiving care in their homes helps patients feel empowered as they learn the skills they need in their real-world environments — and this can have a positive impact on their ability to manage their conditions long-term.
Insurance coverage and the minimal cost of care
For those who qualify, home health is covered 100% by traditional Medicare and other insurance. Patient eligibility and insurance verification are determined at the time of admission. If a patient isn’t eligible for covered home health care services, we can often identify and share other helpful community-based resources.
How to prepare the home for recovery and beyond
Adjusting someone’s home surroundings ahead of discharge can help make returning home safer from the start. Here’s a sample checklist to help patients optimize their environments for safety:
- Small throw rugs should be removed or should have non-slip backing or double-sided tape added to keep them in place.
- All walkway areas should be free from loose phone or electrical cords.
- When using a walker is necessary, it’s important to clear away any furniture, baskets or other items that may block the path.
- Make sure a telephone can be reached from each room of the main living area.
- For homes with stairs, check to see that handrails are secure and that lights can be turned on from either the top or bottom of the stairs.
- For a comprehensive list of home safety precautions, download our guide, Homecoming: Preparing Your House for Your Return and Recovery.
What to expect before patients are discharged
- While a patient is still in a facility, a home health representative will visit them to explain the care their doctor has ordered. We’ll set expectations right away by walking your patient through the next steps, which include a visit by a nurse or therapist who will establish a personal home care plan based on your orders. It may even be possible to share details about the specific clinicians who will be assigned to the patient’s care.
Who will care for your patients at home
Based on each patient’s specific health needs, we’ll assemble a care team that consists of the right mix of clinicians:
- Nurses — who coordinate care plans, treat patients’ conditions, monitor their progress and help them develop the skills they need to thrive on their own.
- Physical therapists — who help patients regain mobility in the comfort of their homes, so they can learn to move around safely and regain strength in their real-world environments.
- Occupational therapists — who offer simple solutions for everyday activities, such as getting dressed, showering or preparing a meal, so patients can live safely and independently in their own homes.
- Speech and language pathologists — who help with speech, language and communication disorders, including difficulty with chewing, swallowing, cognition and thinking skills.
- Home health aides — who help make the daily activities of life, such as bathing and dressing, a little easier.
- Social workers — who help patients overcome some of the things that can get in the way of their recovery, aiding in their access to financial assistance, counseling and helpful community resources.
What to expect when home health care begins
- Care can be arranged within 48 hours of patients being discharged from your care. A scheduler will call in advance to let patients know when a clinician will come. We recognize we are guests in our patients’ homes. We will call before we arrive and always show respect for a patient’s time, building trust every step of the way.
- Once in the home, our clinicians and therapists can provide medical care ordered by you, ranging from skilled nursing, disease management and wound care to physical, occupational and speech therapy.
- We educate patients on details like hydration, diet and safety precautions. We also provide support for medication management, teaching patients to make sure they have all the right medications (and not too much or too little of something), and to understand what they should take, when and why — all to get the most benefit with the fewest side effects.
Your trusted partner in home health care
For more than 50 years, Kindred at Home has been building relationships with patients to understand their personal goals, motivate them to adopt healthier habits and encourage them to regain the confidence to manage their medical conditions independently.
- We provide a multidisciplinary team designed to care for patients’ specific needs.
- Our clinicians and therapists focus on patient-centered goals and the power of choice during all home visits. We lead with empathy and demonstrate understanding of what patients have been dealing with both medically and emotionally.
- We work closely with your team to provide continuity of care, and we’re dedicated to helping patients acheive better outcomes. We support a collaborative communication flow between you and our nurses and therapists, so you always know what’s going on with your patients.
- Our clinicians and therapists are thoroughly screened. They receive background checks, always wear badges at patients’ homes and always call in advance of home health visits to avoid surprises.
Throughout your patients’ important transition home, Kindred at Home helps them understand that they aren’t losing a doctor, but rather gaining a trusted team of in-home clinicians and therapists who will keep them connected to you and help improve their long-term health.
Are you a health care professional with questions?
We can help. Let us know a convenient time to contact you, and one of our local Kindred at Home representatives will call you directly.