If you’ve ever been admitted to a hospital, you know it’s not the best place to rest up and recuperate from an illness. Medicare understands that, too. That is why Medicare covers home health care services for eligible individuals. Home health care can be less expensive, more convenient, and provide better quality of life for many patients.
If you have Medicare, you can use your home health benefits if you meet all of the following criteria:
- You are in the care of a doctor and being regularly seen by a doctor.
- A doctor certifies that you need any of the following:
- Intermittent skilled nursing care (“intermittent” is defined as skilled nursing care that’s needed or given on fewer than 7 days each week or less than 8 hours each day over 21 days (or less) with some exceptions in special circumstances)
- Physical therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Continued occupational therapy
- The home health agency caring for you is approved by Medicare (Medicare-certified).
- A doctor certifies that you are homebound.
- A doctor or nurse practitioner documents that they’ve seen you in person within the required timeframe and that the findings of that encounter support that you’re homebound and need skilled care.
If you think you or your loved one may be eligible for these benefits, you can learn more by reading this booklet: Medicare & Home Health Care, which includes information about choosing a home health care agency, how the payment for services works, guarding against fraud, and your rights as a recipient of home health care.