Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list our the most frequently asked questions.
We update these frequently and continuously in order to serve you better.
Many health care treatments that were once offered only in a hospital or a doctor’s office can now be done in your home. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. In general, the goal of home health care is to provide treatment for an illness or injury. Home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.
Benefits of Skilled Home Health Care
- Shorter or prevent hospital stay
- Faster healing due to the comfort of your own home
- Patient satisfaction due to quicker recovery
- Early intervention and improved patient outcomes
- Privacy and personal attention
It’s Your ChoiceShould your physician recommend home health care, you are assured the right to choose your home care provider yourself. We would be honored to care for you or your loved one. Federal law gives patients the freedom to choose their health care provider under Medicare.
Referrals and requests for home health services may come from physicians, hospital’s case management, continuing care and social work departments, health insurance provider, community agencies, family members and other care providers or community resources. Once the referral is received, a member of our staff will obtain the necessary information and speak with the physician, patient and family to determine what services are appropriate and necessary.
Information required when making a referral:
- Patient name, physical address, and phone number
- Diagnosis, social security number and date of birth
- Services requested (intermittent skilled nursing care, rehabilitation and medical social work)
- Name and phone number of Physician responsible for signing home care orders
- Insurance information
- Caregiver name and phone number
Eligibility for Home Health Care includes:
- You must have a physician prescribe home health care.
- You must need intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language therapy or continuation of occupational therapy.
- You must be restricted in your ability to leave home (“homebound”), and your homebound status must be certified by a physician.
What does “homebound status” mean?
- Leaving your home isn’t recommended because of your condition.
- Your condition keeps you from leaving home without help (such as using a wheelchair or walker, needing special transportation, or getting help from another person).
- Leaving home takes a considerable and taxing effort.
- A person may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, such as attending religious services. You can still get home health care if you attend adult day care, but you would get the home care services in your home.
A patient’s residence is wherever he/she makes his/her home. This may be a house, an apartment, a relative’s home, a home for the aged, or some other type of institution. However, a hospital, skilled nursing facility (SNF) or intermediate care facility (ICF) is not considered the patient’s home.
Your home health agency will work with you and your doctor to develop your plan of care. A plan of care lists what kind of services and care you should get for your health problem. You have the right to be involved in any decisions about your plan of care that includes the following:
- What services you need
- Which health care professionals should give these services
- How often you will need the services
- The medical equipment you need
- What results your doctor expects from your treatment
Metro Home Health Care services may be paid for by Medicare, private insurance and most health insurance plans. In most cases, services are billed directly to the insurance company, with no expenditure required on the part of the patients' family. A health care staff member will discuss your insurance benefits prior to initiating services. In some instances, patients may pay for services privately, on a sliding fee scale, or receive them without charge, when no other resources are available.
What Medicare covers?
Medicare Benefits pays for you to get certain health care services in your home if you meet certain eligibility criteria and if the services are considered reasonable and necessary for the treatment of your illness or injury. If you get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare health plan (not Original Medicare) check your plan’s membership materials, and contact the plan for details about how the plan provides your Medicare-covered home health benefits.
Who qualifies for Medicare-reimbursed services?
Patients must be 65 years of age or older, have a skilled need and homebound. The primary care physician must provide a referral and order for home health care. Patients younger than 65 may qualify if they have received Social Security disability benefits for at least two years, they currently receive Medicare disability benefits, or are enrolled in the railroad retirement system.
Patients that are 65 years of age or older and are still working can use Medicare. If the patient is covered by the employer’s health insurance plan, that plan could be used in conjunction with Medicare benefits. Metro Home Health Care staff will be happy to help you with secondary insurance issues.
Medicare will not cover any of the following:
- 24-hour-a-day care at home
- Meals delivered to your home
- Homemaker services like shopping, cleaning and laundry
- Personal care given by home health aides like bathing, dressing and using the bathroom without skilled nursing or therapy services
Private insurers may provide coverage for some services that Medicare does not. Many times, your doctor, a social worker or a hospital discharge planner will help arrange for Medicare or insurance-covered home health care.
What’s the difference between home care, home health care and hospice care?
Home-care agencies perform household and personal care services, like preparing meals, cleaning, and helping with bathing or dressing.
Home health care focuses on patient recovery and provides medical treatment for an illness or injury, with the goal of helping you recover, regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. Home health care can also help you live with a chronic condition, like heart disease, COPD, or diabetes. Additionally, home health care can include some personal care services, like help bathing and dressing, as part of the plan of care ordered by your doctor.
Hospice care is designed to provide non-curative treatment and focuses on facilitating comfort for those who are facing a life-limiting illness. It offers a support system of medical, social, psychological, and spiritual services that support a patient, their family, and other loved ones.
Health Care Decisions
At Metro Home Health Care, we want you to always have control of your medical treatment. We will do our part to help you make the best decisions for your health care situation by educating you about your treatment choices and the possible outcomes of each. We will also provide you with all the information you need so you can make an informed decision.
In the event you become too sick to make decisions for yourself, it will be important to have advance directives in place to ensure your wishes are honored. Advance directives are legal documents that give instructions to health care providers about the kind of treatment you want to receive if you are not able to communicate with your doctors, nurses and family.
- Living Will — A legal document that tells others that you want to die a natural death if you are terminally and incurably sick or in a persistent vegetative state and will not recover from that state. A living will allows you to tell your doctors not to use heroic measures such as a respirator (a machine that helps you breathe). You may also instruct your caregivers not to begin or to stop giving you food and water through a tube (artificial nutrition or hydration).
- Healthcare Power of Attorney — You may name a person to make medical or mental health decisions for you if you are not able to make decisions for yourself. The person you name is your health care agent. You may also use this document to state what kind of medical or mental health treatments you do or do not want.
- Advance Instruction for Mental Health — You may also create a legal document that contains advance instruction for mental health treatment. This document tells health care providers what mental health treatments you do and do not want if you are not able to make decisions for yourself.
We serve 11 counties in the state of Illinois:
Hours of Service
Our professional home health care team is licensed and bonded and is led by a registered nurse who is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Under the direction of your physician, our highly trained staff will ensure you are on the right path to recovery. We make sure your physician is kept informed of your progress so adjustments can be made in your treatment and recovery, quickly and effectively, as needed.
How to reach us
Metro Home Health Care, NFP