home care for veterans

Veteran Home Care: Navigating VA Options in Carmel, VA

The aging population of the U.S. continues to mature, leaving agencies and health care systems seeking more effective ways to provide high-quality affordable home care solutions.
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been a leader in innovative home care for years, despite any controversies or reports of bureaucratic stumbles you may have read about over the years. Because they have a strong, focused mission, the VA persists in creating functional programs amidst its tough budget constraints and the ever-challenging increase in the numbers of seniors. Since the year 2000, the number of veterans that need home care has quadrupled so VA medical centers across the country have necessarily added palliative care programs for those who are in need.
Why has the VA taken the lead in innovative programming? Data from 2016 provided by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics showed that veterans have a median age of 64 years, compared to 44 years for non-veterans. In fact, our senior population is mounting with 10,000 boomers turning 65 years old daily, yet the aging veteran numbers are growing even faster, creating a demand for new services and solutions.
People over 85 years of age in the VA population almost tripled between 2000 and 2010. This meant that the VA had to be trailblazers, supporting the social and behavioral aspects of health, in addition to veterans’ physical needs. Their newest approach allows veterans to customize health care differently than other health systems. Budgets for veterans flexibly allow them to make decisions on their personal home care needs.
As an example, the VA has a hospice program that goes hand in hand with palliative care, allowing disease-altering treatments to be administered along with hospice care. This is something that Medicare doesn’t yet consider or allow. Prior to this, patients with kidney failure would have to forgo dialysis in order to receive their hospice care. This newer approach means that aging veterans don’t have to forgo any treatments of care when electing hospice care. This compassionate VA program will hopefully influence Medicare to change programs, too.
VA’s contemporary care of hospice services and home care lessens patients’ pain and eases their last days. At first, concerns were that it would be costly, but the mix has now proven that this is actually less expensive than the alternative. Home care programs have been found to reduce hospitalizations, which reduces health care costs, as well.
With the rising health care costs of older adults, home care options are part of a solution, but it all becomes confusing. Call your local Home Care Assistance office today for help in navigating home care options for you or your loved one!

paying for in home care

Will Medicare Cover Your In Home Care?

What happens after you leave the hospital but additional help is necessary at home? In some situations, Medicare will cover in-home care which can spare you of further costs or expenses.

Of course, some in-home care is likely to be needed when you’re ill or recovering from an illness and extra help might also be required after surgery. You may require skilled nursing, physical therapy, or some other medical service. With Medicare, it’s possible you may be able to recover at home instead of a nursing home, but it doesn’t help with every type of in-home care, or in every instance it is needed.

In-home care:  medical vs. non-medical

When you need in-home care for yourself or a loved one, it’s imperative to understand the difference between medical and non-medical when requesting assistance. This makes a big difference when it comes to Medicare coverage. Keep in mind that your care will have to be ordered by your attending physician.

Medical care: If your doctor orders medical care and you qualify for the home health benefit, you’ll have coverage for a limited time, for in-home skilled nursing care, rehabilitative therapy, medication administration, medical-social services, and specific medical equipment.

Non-medical care: If your doctor says you need non-medical care, Medicare typically won’t cover it. They don’t pay for personal home services such as bathing, dressing and exercise, meal planning or preparation and delivery, housekeeping, shopping, transportation, companion service, and telephone safety checks. Although these may be vitally important, they are usually not covered.

Back to the question: Does Medicare cover in-home care or not?

Medicare Part A and/or Part B may help pay for some, or all, of your in-home care if:

  1. Your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
  2. You need special medical equipment to make it possible to leave home. Your doctor must certify that you’re homebound.
  3. A doctor orders in-home care for the patient, certifying that there is a need for intermittent skilled in-home care, but not continuous care.
  4. A physician has seen you in person to confirm that you earnestly need specialized in-home care.
  5. You are able to obtain services from a Medicare-certified home health agency.

In summary, in-home care may be covered by Medicare, but only if skilled nursing services, besides personal care, are needed.

How Home Care Assistance of [hca_city] Can Help

Home Care Assistance of Carmel is a private pay in home care provider. This means that we do not accept Medicare. Most home care services are excluded from Medicare coverage, so we are dedicated to finding an affordable, flexible care plan that is right for your loved one. Contact us for a free consultation to review your in home care options.