What is the Difference Between a Home Health and Non-Medical Home Health Agency
Recently, the State of Colorado implemented new licensing regulations for home care providers providing services within the state. There are definite and defined distinctions between Home Health Care Agencies and Non-Medical Home Health Care Agencies. Below are definitions directly from the Colorado Department of Health’s website:
Home Care Agencies provide medical and non-medical care services in homes or alternative community
settings. The Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the quality of health care services provided by licensed and certified home care agencies. Home care agencies provide a wide range of health and social services to persons recovering from an illness or injury, or persons who are disabled and/or chronically ill. They may provide medical services such as nursing, social services, and therapeutic treatments (physical, speech, occupational therapy). They also may provide non-medical services like help with bathing, dressing and eating.
Non-Medical Home Care Agencies include two programs that can be certified by the Home and Community Based Services Medicaid waiver, specifically: In-Home Support Services and Personal Care Homemaker (IHSS). IHSS include attendant assistance with health maintenance activities, support for activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living and personal care and homemaker services. Medicaid-eligible clients direct, select and train their own attendants. A client’s attendant is employed by the In-Home Support Services provider agency of the client’s choice. Agencies provide independent living core services in the areas of cross-disability peer counseling, information and referral services, independent living skills training and individual and systems advocacy. Providers also must provide 24-hour back-up services and a health professional that will be responsible for the attendant training, including assistance with health maintenance activities and skilled nursing care. Personal care services are furnished to meet the clients’ non-medical physical, maintenance and supportive needs, including bathing, grooming, hygiene, and assistance with ambulation. As these services are non-medical, they do not need to be performed by a certified home health aide as an extension to care provided by a nurse or therapist. Homemaker services are provided to Medicaid-eligible clients when the individual ordinarily responsible for these activities is temporarily absent or unable to manage the household activities. These services include housecleaning, meal preparation and laundry. It is important to know the distinctions between these two services when making a decision for you or a loved one to find the right level of care for your needs.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Maria Deuth of In-Home Companion Care. She can be reached at 720-862-5656.