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What is Home Care?

FACT SHEET

  • Home care is a healthcare option allowing persons with acute, chronic or debilitating health problems to remain in their homes as opposed to short-term and long-term hospital or nursing home stays. Home care services range from high-tech healthcare to personal care.

  • Advanced technologies now enable healthcare professionals to use sophisticated, high-tech medical equipment and procedures in the home to promote healing and provide comfort.

  • Home care can be a cost-effective healthcare alternative. State statistics show that a home care visit runs about $65. Average costs for a hospital stay run over $1,000 a day and nearly $100 a day for nursing home stays.

  • Free of the stress of an institutionalized setting, many people heal more quickly at home than in hospitals or nursing homes.

  • Home care services are provided through various private agencies, hospitals and public health departments. The Oklahoma Association for Home Care (OAHC) has a list of member agencies.

  • Home care services include care provided by skilled professionals as prescribed and directed by the patient's personal physician, and supportive services including assistance with walking, bathing, dressing, shopping, meal preparation and light housekeeping. A home care team often includes: a social worker, registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, therapy specialist, dietitian, home care aides, chore workers/companions, and volunteers.

  • Based on recent statewide survey numbers, every year more than 70,000 people receive home care services throughout Oklahoma.

  • In Oklahoma, a recent survey shows that home care agencies accepted an estimated 7,350 charitable cases in a 12-month period. Case workers made about 75,600 charitable visits, with the care valued at more than $5 million.

  • About half of the patients in a home care program are under the age of 65.

  • A national survey shows that in 1992, more than 25 percent of home care patients admitted to home health agencies had conditions related to diseases of the circulatory system. Persons with heart disease, including congestive heart failure, made up 49 percent of all conditions in this group. Stroke, diabetes, and hypertension were also frequent admission diagnoses for home care patients.

  • Most home care services are reimbursed by third-party payors, with Medicare being the largest single payor. A growing number of private insurance plans and other third-party payors also provide home care reimbursement.

  • For more information on available home care services, a check list on choosing an agency, or for a list of member agencies, call the OAHC at (405)663-2067