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Why Are So Many Home Health Care Terms Necessary?

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Home Health

When we hear the term home health or home healthcare, we generally  think of a 60 day service provided by nurses to help a person recover after a hospitalization. Home health is comprised of  skilled services including nursing, social work and physical, occupational, or speech therapy.  Industry insiders call this type of care Medicare Certified Home Health which requires the use of an OASIS form to document the need for care.  The Visiting Nurses organizations are examples of home health providers (although there are many home health providers who are not affiliated with the visiting nurses organization).

Home Care 

Home care is the most commonly used generic term for our entire industry.  So it’s typical for people to say “home care” they might mean nursing, or caregiving or even durable medical equipment (DME).  We generally associate the term home care with non-medical in-home care services.  Synonyms include Companion Care, Home Maker Care, Home Health Aides, and Private Duty Care.

Healthcare at Home

Healthcare at home is in some sense a movement.  Although the phrase has been used before, there was a landmark speech at a recent conference of the National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) where home care veteran Bob Fazzi  introduced the concept. He stated that we should all start thinking of health care as having three key providers: 1) hospitals, 2) physicians practices, and 3) healthcare at home.  In his speech, Bob pointed out that we have the most expensive patients with the least expensive care providers providing outstanding care, and that we should leverage that to transform healthcare.  Since then, noteworthy publication such as Tim Rowan’s Home Care Technology Report have been promoting the healthcare at home terminology branding.

How Does All of This Impact the Future of Healthcare?

At Ankota, our prediction is that the lines between home health and home care are blurring and will continue to do so.  The best organizations I’ve seen are looking for the best care provider, practicing at the top of their license, to delivery the needed care.  They are also using call centers to drive adherence and behavior change, and using technology (like Foresight Care), to get early warning signs and prevent hospitalizations.

Ankota was co-founded by Ken Accardi and provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota’s primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. 

This article was posted by Ken Accardi and first appeared as “Home Health vs. Home Care vs Healthcare at Home” on March 22, 2016 via the Ankota blog.

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