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Home Care Resources

If you are interested in learning more about home care services, financial coverage, or more information including eligibility, please view our compiled list of FAQs below. If you are unable to find answers to your questions, please contact the Doylestown Home Care office at 215.345.2202.

  • Advance Care Planning

    Advance healthcare directives are spoken or written plans and information that you make about your choices for medical care. Planning and writing your advance directive lets you control your healthcare at a time when you may not be able to make your wishes known, and informs healthcare providers and loved ones of the treatment decisions you have made.

    In the state of Pennsylvania, there are two types of advance healthcare directives:

    Ask about and discuss the ethics of your care with your healthcare provider, including resolving any conflicts that might arise such as, deciding against, withholding, or withdrawing life-sustaining care.

    It's best to provide a copy of your advance directive, living will, durable power of attorney for healthcare, and any organ or tissue donation permissions to the health care professionals taking care of you.

  • Home Care Aide Services

    Our home health aides are an important part of our home health team. They provide compassionate personal care assistance. Other secondary duties may include laundry, straightening of patient area or even preparation of a simple meal. The usual time spent with each of our patients is one hour. Visits generally decrease in frequency as you become stronger or as you or your caregiver learn to provide this care yourselves.

    Your physician, Medicare and insurance companies recognize the importance of this service. Most insurances will cover the cost if it is provided in conjunction with a nurse or therapist.

  • Scheduling and Cancellations

    Since your home care aide is a component of your care plan, we request your cooperation in scheduling your visits. Visit cancellations are an indication to us and to your insurance company that the aide services may no longer be of benefit to you. Multiple cancellations may result in a consultation with your physician regarding the necessity of these particular services.

    If you must cancel a visit, please notify the visiting nurses in advance so the time allotted for your visit can be used to see other patients. If you do not cancel with at least 24-hours notice, you may be billed a cancellation fee.

    All Doylestown Health Home Care aides are experienced caregivers. Daily adjustments are made to the schedule regarding time of visit and personnel. You may not always have the same caregiver, but we make every effort to be consistent and will inform you by telephone of any changes.

    Please do not schedule additional appointments on the days you expect the visiting nurse associates to see you.

    You will be asked to sign each home care aide note. Before signing, please make sure that the note is complete, and that the times in and out are accurate.

    We encourage you to discuss any home care aide concerns with your nurse or therapist, or call our office at 215.345.2202.

  • General Visiting Nurse Information

    Please see your doctor regularly so that your plan of care is up to date and remains appropriate to your current medical, nursing and rehab care needs.

  • Questions About Care?

    If you have questions or concerns about care, please discuss them with your nurse or therapist at your visit. You can also call Doylestown Health Home Care at 215.345.2202. After hours messages (between 4:30 pm and 8 am and during weekends) will be returned the next day.

  • Medical Supplies

    Running low on medical supplies regularly furnished by us? Please call the Home Care office (215.345.2202) promptly so that we may arrange a delivery before you run out. You must inform your nurse or therapist of any supplies you have been previously purchasing or that have been covered by Medicare prior to your home health admission.

  • In Case of an Emergency

    Please call your doctor directly, or for emergency assistance, call an ambulance for immediate transport to Doylestown Hospital or to the nearest hospital available. If you are admitted to a hospital, please have someone notify our office (215.345.2202). When you begin to make arrangements to return home, let us know so that we may resume services upon your return. Please note that your hospital nurse, social worker, or discharge planner can also contact us to arrange for services at home.

  • Eligibility for Home Care Services

    To be eligible for home care services, below are some requirements that patients may need to meet:

    • You must have a medical need that qualifies you for the services
    • You are restricted in your ability to leave your home or are homebound
    • You were referred by your physician, who will monitor your treatment and plan of care
  • Financial Options

    It is the policy of Doylestown Health Home Care to discuss insurance coverage and financial obligations with each patient prior to the initiation of home care services and at the time that the level of insurance coverage changes. It is not possible to predict the exact cost of services and the amount of coverage from insurance programs; however, it is our intention to provide the patient and family with as clear an idea as possible. A copy of the insurance information obtained by our department from the patient's insurance carrier will be given to the patient at the time of admission.

    Most of these services are covered by private insurance plans, major medical insurance, HMOs, Medicare and Medical Assistance. We provide these services without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, physical or mental handicap, sexual orientation, or even ability to pay. We review insurance coverage and make every attempt to provide patients with information regarding copays and deductibles.

    Most of the services provided by Doylestown Health Home Care are covered by most of the major insurance carriers. All patients are encouraged to contact the Visiting Nurse Business Office at 215.345.2202 with any questions regarding insurance coverage or the charges for our services.

    You may wish to discuss payment terms or alternate funding arrangements with the Doylestown Health Home Care office, at 215.345.2202. A social worker is available to assist in this process.

    Blue Cross, Commercial Policies and Managed Care

    Blue Cross has a variety of plans that vary in their level of coverage for home care and other services. Commercial policies and HMOs are all quite distinct in their policies. Issues of insurance coverage, deductibility, and co-payment will be discussed with the patient and family members by the referral nurse prior to beginning home care services.

    Medicare + Choice Plans (Managed Care Medicare)

    Medicare offers managed care plans through various insurers. Blue Cross Personal Choice 65 and Blue Cross Keystone 65 are examples of Medicare + Choice plans. Many of these plans have co-payments for home care services. Also, Medicare requires us to provide each beneficiary with information prior to discharge about how to appeal a coverage decision. The form you will sign prior to discharge is included in this folder for your review.

    Change of Insurance Coverage

    It is your responsibility to notify the Home Care Department if there is any change in your insurance coverage. Should you not notify us of changes, or if the information you provide is incorrect, you will be billed directly for the services provided.

  • About Medicare Coverage

    Medicare pays for "skilled" services that are "medically necessary." These services are the ones that can only be (by law) provided by a licensed healthcare provider; that is, a registered nurse, licensed physical therapist or speech therapist. When care is provided by one of these licensed practitioners, the services are usually covered by Medicare. The patient can then also have help from an occupational therapist, home care aide or medical social worker.

    As the patient improves or stabilizes, it is not uncommon for the "skilled" portion of the care to no longer be required. For example, an unlicensed practitioner (such as a home care aide) may be fully capable of providing all of the needed services. In most instances, these "less-than-skilled" services are not covered by Medicare but can be paid for directly by you. Your nurse or therapist will inform you when it appears that skilled services are no longer required so that appropriate plans can be made.

    A patient must also be "homebound" in order for Medicare to pay for services. To be considered homebound, there must be a normal inability to leave the home. Absence from the home must be infrequent and of short duration to receive medical care. A patient is NOT homebound if he or she leaves home frequently for business, work, or school.

    Face-to-Face Encounter Required by Medicare

    A recent change in the law adds a new requirement to qualify for Medicare coverage. The new law requires that the patient be seen face-to-face by the physician, or certain non-physician practitioners working with the physician, before home care services start or soon thereafter.

    The key elements of this new law are twofold:

    • The patient must have the face-to-face visit within 90 days prior to starting home care or within 30 days after the start of care. Also, the visit must be for medical service related to the reason why home care services are needed.
    • The physician responsible for performing the initial certification (admission or start of care) must include the date of the encounter.

    It is your responsibility to be seen by a physician within this designated timeframe.

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