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How do you know if you or a loved one qualifies for home health care?

Family Health
Dec 19, 2017

Five benefits to home health care through St. Joseph’s/Candler

Many health care treatments that were once only offered in a hospital or through a doctor’s office can now be done at your home.

St. Joseph’s/Candler Home Health Care takes a total-patient approach to treatment, meaning we develop specialized plans of care that are the most appropriate for each patient’s individual needs and level of functioning. The goal of these individual plans is to reduce recovery time, optimize independence and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. 

Currently, there are several hundred patients across southeast Georgia that receive St. Joseph’s/Candler Home Health Care services. Basic services covered by the program include skilled nursing (RNs, LPNs and CNAs), medical social workers and therapy (physical, occupational and speech). A registered dietitian and wound care specialist are also available under home health care services.

“The goals of our home health care services include clinical support, education and helping you stay out of the hospital,” says Ilyce Brinn, M.S., CCC/SLP, senior business development specialists with SJ/C Home Health Care. “We don’t want you to lose ground after being released from the hospital. Therapy is there to make you stronger. Nursing is there to make sure you understand your medical condition and can manage it at home, that you have your medications and understand what you are supposed to take.

“We offer many home health services to ensure you continue to get stronger and healthier,” Brinn continues. “We provide the education and tools that you need to become self-sufficient and take care of yourself at a better level than you were before, all in the comfort of your home.”

Learn more about all the services SJ/C Home Health Care provides here.

How do I know if I qualify for home health care?

Anyone can refer you to home health care – you, your friend or your family members can all talk to a doctor about making a referral. If you want to know if you qualify for St. Joseph’s/Candler Home Health Care, call us at 1-800-942-5232 or visit our website

Traditional Medicare provides beneficiaries with a home health benefit covered at 100 percent. Certain private insurances will also pay a portion of home health care.

To be eligible for home health care:

1. Your doctor needs to write an order stating that you need home health services.

2. You must have a need for one of the following skilled services:

  • Nursing
  • Physical and/or occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology

3. You must be homebound, which means it is more difficult for you to leave your home and you need assistive devices, such as a wheelchair, cane or family member, to leave your home.

4. Your medical need must be considered intermittent meaning that you do not require full-time medical care that would be better served by a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

If you think home health care is right for you, talk to your doctor. The St. Joseph’s/Candler Home Health Care staff is available to answer any questions you have about what is covered. Give them a call today at 1-800-942-5232.

Related Article: Five questions a patient and family should ask about home health care


The benefits to home health care

So now that you have an idea whether you or a loved one qualifies for home health care, you may be wondering what are the benefits of the service. Home health care is:

  • Less expensive
  • More convenient
  • Can be just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility
  • Helps you get better in the comfort of your home
  • Helps you regain your independence and become as self-sufficient as possible

If your doctor decides you need home health care, you may choose an agency from the participating Medicare certified home health agencies in your area. Home health agencies are certified to make sure they meet certain federal health and safety requirements.

St.  Joseph’s/Candler Home Health Care is certified as a Medicare and Medicaid Home Health Provider. In addition, it is the only home health agency in the Savannah area to be accredited by The Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission has been acknowledged as the leader in developing the highest standards for quality and safety in delivery of health care and evaluating organizational performance based on these standards. According to a recent comparative analysis of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Home Health Compare data set, Joint Commission accredited home health providers perform statistically better on nearly 70 percent of the CMS 5-Star Quality Ratings measures “making these agencies the partner of choice” for physicians, hospitals, health systems and payers.  Learn more about Medicare Home Health Compare here.

Related Article: Six myths about home health care

A benefit to SJ/C Home Health Care is it is not-for-profit and wholly owned by St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Brinn says.

“This really allows for us to provide a continuum of care to the patient,” Brinn says.

For example, one of SJ/C Home Health Care’s specialty programs is Transitional Care. Both St. Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospital have a transitional care coordinator that meets with qualified home health patients before discharge. The transitional care coordinator, who is a registered nurse, can prepare the patient on what to do once they get home and what to expect from home health care. The coordinator can also relay any additional information to the home health care nurse or specialist.

“We like to ask ourselves, ‘What can we do to help you through this difficult time?’” Brinn says. “If you are caring for a loved one and they need help or have just been discharged from the hospital, St. Joseph’s/Candler Home Health Care can help you.”

To learn more about SJ/C Home Health Care or reach one of our regional offices, call 1-800-942-5232 or visit our website.

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