What is the difference between Medicare Home Health Care and Private Home Health Care?

If your doctor tells you that you need “Home Health Care” after a health event, he is often referring to Medicare services.  In this case he will send orders to a Medicare certified Home Health Agency and tell you they will call you.  You should know two things: one, you have the right to choose your own Medicare Home Health Agency and two the Agency will follow doctor’s orders and not yours.  Often they will provide one hour RN visits (at their convenience, not yours) to perform certain nursing tasks such as change of dressing, take blood or check an incision.  Rarely will they provide assistance with meals, shower, errands, transfers, hygiene etc.
For personal services, you should contact a Private Duty Home Health Agency.  The costs will be paid directly by you (covered by Long Term Care Insurance if you have it) but the services will be customized to your needs and budget. It is not uncommon for people to need Private Home Health services at the same time as Medicare Home Health services.
It is up to you to choose a home health agency, whether it is Private Pay or Medicare Certified. As with many other medical providers, the customer has the right to select the physician and other health care personnel from which they wish to receive services.
Please call McKenney Home Care if you have questions about the difference between Medicare Home Health Care and Private Duty Home Health Care.