Kansas Home Care & Hospice Association
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

About Home Care

 

What is Home Care?

Home care is a health care option offering a broad range of medical care and support services provided in the home. Services range from simple assistance in the activities of daily living to high-tech medical procedures.

 

Home care is a cost-effective alternative to hospital and nursing home stays. Home care services are provided through a variety of home care providers, whether independently owned or associated with hospitals, nursing homes, or public health departments. The Kansas Home Care Association offers a directory of member agencies that will allow you to search for an agency using specific search criteria. A complete listing is also available through the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment. All agencies providing medical care in the home in Kansas are licensed and surveyed by the state, and many are certified by Medicare.

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Types of Home Care Services that May be Available in Your Area

  • Skilled Nursing: Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses provide professional nursing care in the home, working under the direction of the patient's doctor. The nurse implements the plan of care.

  • Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy: Therapists work with patients to improve their physical function, daily activities, and to help speech and comprehension.
  • Home Health Aides: Aides help patients with personal care services such as grooming, bathing, meal preparation, and light housekeeping.
  • Medical Social Services: Medical social workers provide patients and families with practical assistance with problems they encounter. They can often help families obtain additional community services.
  • Dietitian: Registered dietitians and nutritionists counsel patients about dietary needs.
  • Infusion Therapy: IV therapies and enteral feeding can be performed at home.
  • Homemaker: Homemakers may do household chores, shopping, meal preparation, cleaning and other services, but no "hands on" tasks.
  • Hospice: Provides palliative and supportive care for terminally ill patients and their families.    

 

Why Use Home Care?

  • Provides care for those who are discharged from the hospital not fully recovered
  • May prevent or postpone hospital or nursing home care
  • Allows maximum freedom for the client
  • Offers individualized care tailored to the needs of the client and family
  • Provides professionally supervised services
  • Allows dignity and independence
  • Supports families while keeping them together
  • Offers lower cost of care than in hospital or nursing home setting

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How to Choose a Home Care Agency

A home care agency should be selected to meet your individual care needs. You have the right to choose any home care provider who is qualified to provide the services you need. Your best protection is selecting care from a licensed, high quality agency after you have spent some time researching the agencies in your area.

We encourage you to begin by searching for agencies in your area using the KHCA Membership Directory. Then you may also want to visit the Home Health Agency Compare Site. This site allows you to compare home health agencies that you are considering using.  KHCA urges you to contact the home health agencies and ask questions of them directly.

The following are a few questions to consider and ask the home care agency. These points are meant as a guide only. You will need to determine what is most important to you, and what is the best fit.
    • Is the agency certified by Medicare? Only Medicare-certified agencies can provide services covered by Medicare. Not all agencies participate in the Medicare program; however, not participating does not mean the agency provides less than quality care.
    • Is the agency licensed by the state? In Kansas, a home care agency must be licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in order to provide medical care in the home.
    • Is the agency accredited? This is a voluntary process conducted by nonprofit professional organizations stating the agency has met established standards. Examples are JCAHO, ACHC, or CHAP accreditation.
    • Does the agency provide written statements describing services, eligibility requirements, fees, funding sources, patient rights, complaint procedures, and emergency arrangements?
    • How long has the agency been serving the community?
    • What is the agency's service area?
    • Is service available seven days a week?
    • What will the agency do in emergency situations?
    • How is the plan of care developed?

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Who Pays for Home Care?

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Private health and long term insurance plans
  • VA
  • Worker's compensation
  • HMOs
  • TRICARE
  • Managed care plans
  • Individual patients and families
Note that each payor has certain criteria that determine what type of care is covered and which patients qualify for care at home.

      

© 2017 Kansas Home Care & Hospice Association
Phone: (785) 478-3640 | Email:  khca@kshomecare.org
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