|Glossary Terms||Glossary Definitions|
|Agency's initial date of Medicare certification||
The date that Medicare officially determined that an agency meets federal requirements to provide home health care. This date may differ from the date that the home health agency was licensed by an official agency within your State.
This information is included because you may wish to know how long the agency has met all Medicare requirements to provide home health care services. This date is associated with the agency’s current Medicare provider number. An agency may request to change their provider number if there's a change in ownership. You should contact the agency to find out how long it has been Medicare certified.
A thin, soft tube that's placed in the urinary bladder and attached to a bag that collects the urine. It may be inserted into the bladder of people who lose control of their bladder or cannot use a toilet (for example, someone in a coma). Catheters also may be used because the urine doesn't drain naturally, to keep pressure sores that aren't healing clean and dry, or to measure the amount of urine being produced.
A catheter should only be used when it's medically necessary. Using a catheter may result in complications, like urinary tract or blood infections, physical injury, skin problems, bladder stones, or blood in the urine.
State government agencies inspect health care providers, including home health agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis facilities, as well as other health care providers. These providers are approved or “certified” if they pass inspection. Medicare and Medicaid only cover care given by providers who are certified by Medicare. Being certified isn't the same as being accredited.
|Durable medical equipment||
Certain medical equipment, like a walker, wheelchair, or hospital bed, that's ordered by the doctor for use in the home.
|Home health agency name, address, and phone number||
Agency name, address, and phone number including street, city, state, and ZIP code.
This information is obtained from the Quality Information Evaluation System (QIES) database maintained by the state survey agency and updated monthly.
It's important to check with the agency for the most current information.
|Home health aide services||
Part time or intermittent services to help you with your daily living activities.
|Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey||
Also known as the patient experience of care survey, the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey is a national survey that asks patients about their experiences with a home health agency. This information helps you learn what patients think about how well home health agencies in your area cared for them. Compare home health agencies by looking at patient survey results.
The survey covers 5 topics:
To be homebound means:
You may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, like attending religious services. You can still get home health care if you attend adult day care.
|Medical social services||
Services to help you with social and emotional concerns related to your illness. This might include counseling or help in finding resources in your community.
Essential items that the home health team uses to conduct home visits or to carry out services the physician has ordered to treat or diagnose a patient's illness or injury. Examples include: cotton balls, adhesive and paper tape, thermometers, dressings for wound care, sterile gloves, catheters, and syringes. The home health agency provides these supplies for their use with the patient.
Services or supplies that are needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your medical condition and meet accepted standards of medical practice.
|Medicare-covered home health care services||
Medicare Parts A and B cover part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, home health aide services, medical social services, durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers) and medical supplies, and other services. Note: You must meet certain conditions. - Opens in a new window
The list of services is obtained from the Quality Information Evaluation System (QIES) database maintained by the State Survey Agency and updated monthly.
The agency may offer additional services so it's important to check with the agency for the most current information.
Services given to help you return to usual activities (like bathing, preparing meals, and housekeeping) after illness either on an inpatient or outpatient basis.
Treatment of injury and disease by mechanical means, like heat, light, exercise, and massage.
|Plan of care||
Written doctors orders for home health services and treatments based on the patient’s condition. The plan of care is developed by the doctor, the home health team, and the patient. The home health team keeps the doctor up-to-date on the patient’s condition and updates the plan of care as needed. It's the doctor, and not the home health team, that authorizes what services are needed and for how long.
A type of health care given when you need skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff to manage, observe, and evaluate your care. Nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are considered skilled care by Medicare. In addition to providing direct care these professionals manage, observe, and evaluate your care. Any service that could be safely done by a non-medical person (or by yourself) without the supervision of a nurse isn't considered skilled care.
|Skilled nursing care||
Care given or supervised by registered nurses. Nurses provide direct care; manage, observe, and evaluate a patient’s care; and teach the patient and his or her family caregiver. Examples include: giving IV drugs, shots, or tube feedings; changing dressings; and teaching about diabetes care. Any service that could be done safely by a non-medical person (or by yourself) without the supervision of a nurse isn’t skilled nursing care. Medicare covers home health skilled nursing care that's part time and intermittent.
|Skilled nursing facility||
A nursing facility with the staff and equipment to give skilled nursing care and, in most cases, skilled rehabilitative services and other related health services.
This is the study of communication problems. Speech therapists assist with problems involving speech, language, and swallowing. Communication problems can be present at birth or develop after an injury or illness, like a stroke.
|State Survey Agency||
A state agency that oversees health care facilities that participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid. The State Survey Agency inspects health care facilities and investigates complaints to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
|Type of ownership||
Home health agencies can be run by private for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, religious affiliated organizations or government entities. The type of ownership may affect agency resources and how services are organized. Quality can vary in home health agencies within each of the different types of ownership. Each agency needs to be judged on its own merits.