Home care (sometimes called home health care) includes a wide range of health care services that take place in a patient’s home. These services may be necessary if you are recovering from a hospital stay, if you are disabled or chronically ill, or if you need nursing care, social services, or assistance with activities of daily living on an ongoing basis.
The goal of home care is to help you recover from an illness or injury, regain or maintain independence, and manage your condition outside of a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
Home care services include:
Hospice is a specialized, team-based approach to support and care for individuals with life-limiting or advanced illness and their families. Instead of trying to cure a disease, hospice focuses on providing physical comfort and emotional support, so that life can be lived as fully as possible.
Its main goals are to ensure comfort, enhance quality of life, and preserve dignity and choice.
With hospice care, you can expect to:
Private care is home care that you pay for privately, out of your own pocket or with long-term care insurance.
For several reasons, many seniors and their families choose to pay for private home health care out-of-pocket. First, paying out-of-pocket gives you greater flexibility in the type and amount of services you order. In some cases, a patient’s Medicare coverage or other private insurance coverage may not pay for all of the home health care services you need or want. It may be that the benefits have been exhausted, or perhaps the patient’s medical needs do not qualify them for covered home care services. Second, you can avoid the restrictions and limits of programs provided by the government or private insurers. Finally, paying for home care may be a less costly alternative to a nursing home or assisted living placement.
Advance care planning is one of the most important ways to ensure your wishes are respected and to protect your rights, if you are ever unable to make your own medical decisions. It is recommended that everyone over age 18 have a plan in the event of a sudden illness or injury.
The advance care planning process includes:
A certified home health care agency, such as VNSNY, is certified to bill Medicare and/or Medicaid for professional and home health aide services. Referrals for services must come directly from your physician. Services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or other insurance.
A private care agency, such as Partners in Care, provides home care services, such as personal care and companionship, private duty nursing, ambulatory escort services, and care management services.
A private care agency can provide you with many of the same services as a certified agency, but services are paid for out of pocket or by long-term care insurance. No referral is needed, so the client or their family members can determine what services are needed or desired. Payment is made by the person who needs the services, or a guarantor (someone who accepts legal responsibility to pay for the services received on behalf of the client), or through a long-term care insurance policy.
Home care and hospice care both require a doctor’s referral, and both are covered by Medicare (though the eligibility criteria are different). Hospice coverage is limited to patients who are terminally ill and covers treatment for pain, symptom management, and comfort (not for curing the underlying terminal illness). Hospice also provides important benefits not available to those receiving home care.
If your doctor has prescribed home care or hospice services, we will work with them to ensure you get the care you need.
If you think you may need care but haven’t spoken to a doctor yet, we’re still here to help. A Customer Care Center representative will ask questions about who needs care and what their symptoms are, and then make a recommendation for the next steps.
If you are paying for care out of pocket, our private care team is ready to partner with you to develop a care plan that will best meet you or your loved one’s needs.
Eligibility for home care services depends on many factors, such as on the type of care and who is responsible for payment. Medicare, for example, has different eligibility requirements for home care than for hospice care.
Please call our Customer Care Center at 1-800-675-0391 and we can help you figure it out.
A registered nurse (RN) is licensed by the State Education Department to assist in activities of daily living and perform skilled nursing care and usually is the graduate of a diploma nursing, community college or four-year bachelor’s degree program.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is licensed by the State Education Department to assist in activities of daily living as well as some skilled nursing needs and usually has an associate degree from a community college.
A home health aide is trained and certified by a New York State Department of Health approved training program to assist in activities of daily living.
Caring for a loved one at home can provide rich rewards, but depending on the type of care it can also be extremely challenging. As you plan for your loved one’s care, you may wish to read these articles to address the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications of caregiving:
If you would like more services than Medicare or private insurance will cover, you can supplement or extend them by paying out-of-pocket for private care services.
When you use Partners in Care for private care services, you can arrange to keep the same home health aide for both the Medicare portion of your services and for the private care. And when you use VNSNY and Partners in Care services together, your private care services are provided at a reduced rate.
We offer a full range of home care services matched to your needs:
If your doctor has ordered home care services, it’s so you can recover safely and heal properly at home. Home care services can help if you need:
Because care is personalized to address the needs of each individual, no two cases are alike. Your care team will always include a registered nurse. Your doctor and your VNSNY nurse will work together to determine the services you need, and your nurse will manage all aspects of your care and will coordinate services from other VNSNY professionals:
A registered nurse is a highly skilled professional who oversees all aspects of the medical care you receive at home. During a home care visit, your nurse will:
Your nurse will also make arrangements for medical equipment or other supplies for home use, schedule appointments for other professionals on your home care team, and make sure that you and your caregivers have the information and confidence necessary to carry out the plan of care after your appointment is over.
When you’re recovering from a joint replacement surgery or living with a chronic disease, the best place to learn how to do all of your daily activities is where you feel most comfortable. That’s why the therapists from VNSNY Rehabilitation Services come to your home, where we help you gain strength, balance, and mobility.
Our highly trained physical, occupational, and speech therapists work with you to develop goals for treatment, and coordinate with other medical providers—like doctors and nurses—to deliver a plan of care that meets your individual needs.
During your first visit, your nurse will explain all the details of your plan of care, including which other VNSNY professionals (such as physical therapists, social workers, registered dietitians, and home health aides) are part of your home care team and how often you’ll see them.
If you received instructions about your care while you were in the hospital, your nurse will review them with you to make sure you understand and are comfortable performing them. (Be sure to have your discharge instructions and a list of medications ready to show the nurse.) Your nurse will also remind you of your follow-up doctor appointments, and will answer any questions you or your caregivers have and demonstrate any techniques necessary for your care. In addition, your nurse will order any supplies you need, from oxygen to sterile gloves, and teach you and your caregivers how to use any special equipment that’s part of your treatment.
Your nurse will also perform a thorough evaluation of your condition. He or she will:
Depending on your needs, your first visit may last up to three hours.
Medicare (and some commercial and managed care insurance) requires that a patient must be homebound to receive home health care services.
A “homebound” patient is unable to leave home without considerable and taxing effort. You may still be considered homebound if you leave home for short durations or for specific situations (such as going to a religious service, receiving outpatient medical treatment, or going for a walk around the block).
Private care is home care that extends beyond services covered by medical insurance, for supplemental short-term assistance or on-going long term care needs.
Partners in Care offers private care nursing, rehabilitation therapy, personal care and companionship services that can be paid for privately, as an out pocket expense, or with long-term care insurance, when care doesn’t qualify for reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid or other insurance.
Many seniors and their families choose to pay for home care privately for several reasons. Paying out of pocket:
There are many scenarios and situations when private care may be beneficial. You may want to consider it when:
When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is check references, make sure a caregiver or clinician is qualified—and someone you’ll get along with—or verify insurance coverage. Engaging home care services from a certified or licensed home care agency relieves this burden. An agency should have the depth of staff to match you with someone who meets your needs and personality, and should ensure that staff is properly trained and certified or licensed, and has passed background checks.
At Partners in Care, all staff is insured, properly trained and credentialed, as well as carefully screened. We verify references and conduct comprehensive background checks, random drug testing, and run fingerprint checks through the FBI database. Our professional nurses and rehabilitation therapists are highly capable and experienced in disease specific care. All Partners in Care home health aides receive three weeks of training, which is 40 hours more than required by the New York State Department of Health.
A registered nurse (RN) is licensed by the State Education Department to perform skilled nursing care and usually is the graduate of a diploma nursing, community college, or four-year bachelor’s degree program.
A home health aide is certified by the New York State Department of Health based on an approved training program, so they are qualified to assist individuals with the activities of daily living.
Partners in Care registered nurses are highly skilled, caring professionals, who have years of experience in both the hospital and home care setting. They also receive regular training to sharpen their skills.
Our skilled nurses can:
Home health aides play a critical role in keeping you or your loved one safe at home. They provide companionship, and can watch for changes in health or medical condition that may require the attention of a nurse. Home health aides also help with the daily tasks that allow your loved one maintain independence and health.
Our home health aides can:
Both live-in and round-the-clock care ensure your loved one is never alone, but there are important differences to consider:
Yes. We understand how flexibility is essential to our clients and we will accommodate scheduling to your specific needs. There are also no contracts so you are billed only for the services you request.
We require a four-hour minimum in order to guarantee the best possible care and to maintain consistency and a close connection with the caregiver who is working with your loved one.
Getting you the help you need is very important to us. We handle all service requests on an as-needed basis, whether that is the same day or several weeks in advance. It is helpful if you can contact us at least 24 hours before service is needed.
Once your call is completed, a home health supervisor will be assigned to personally assist you with identifying the right staff member to meet your needs. The supervisor will then contact you to provide the name of the home health aide and answer any questions you may have.
At Partners in Care, your satisfaction is a top priority, so we do everything we can to ensure our home health aides are carefully matched to your loved one’s personality, interests, and lifestyle, as well as medical needs. We ask a series of questions to help us better understand the type of aide who will be compatible with you or your loved one and search our extensive database to match you with the best possible aide based on your wants and needs.
We encourage you to think of the first day or two of service as a trial period, so you may evaluate how the aide performs the required tasks in the Plan of Care, and to make sure you feel the aide is a good fit for you and your loved one’s personalities. If you are not comfortable with the match we made, we are more than willing to provide you with a different aide. Your satisfaction with the care you receive is always our top priority.
All Partners in Care home health aides are insured and certified.
In addition, every Partners in Care home health aide candidate is screened thoroughly in the following areas:
All candidates must pass the above criteria and complete our rigorous training program.
Absolutely. With your permission and authorization, we will call your insurance company to verify your policy and the amount of coverage for which you are eligible and call you back to let you know.
You may choose to obtain these services by paying out-of-pocket or with a long-term care policy.
At this time, we do not offer online bill payment.
Hospice is a specialized, team-based approach to support and care for individuals with life-limiting or advanced illness and their families. When curative care is no longer an option, hospice focuses on providing physical comfort and emotional support, so that life can be lived as fully as possible.
The goals of hospice care are to ensure comfort, enhance quality of life, and preserve dignity and choice.
With your guidance and collaboration, your care team will work with your caregivers and personal doctor to develop a care plan tailored to your needs and goals.
Your services may include:
VNSNY also offers support, education, and counseling to family and loved ones to help relieve stress and anxiety.
You’ll have 24/7 access to care and services. We’re here to support you however and whenever you need, including our dedicated caregiver helpline and referral center.
Both hospice and palliative care focus on treating symptoms (such as anxiety, nausea, pain, or difficulty sleeping) and enhancing your quality of life.
Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of an illness and can be part of a care plan that includes treatment of a disease.
Hospice care is appropriate when a physician feels that a patient’s life expectancy may be six months or less. When curative care is no longer an option, hospice focuses on providing physical comfort and emotional support so that life can be lived as fully as possible.
We recognize that it can be difficult to think about hospice. If you are coping with the pressures of a serious or potentially terminal illness, you don’t have to go through it alone. Starting a conversation about your care options as early as possible allows you and your loved ones more time to focus on what is important to you.
Hospice care may be appropriate when:
As an illness progresses, it can be difficult to make choices about care or know what to expect. VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care can help you explore your options. We respect your right to choose which services are best, as well as when and where you receive care.
Care can be provided wherever you live. Many patients receive hospice care in their homes, whether that’s a private home or apartment, a nursing home, assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Hospice care may also be provided in a short-term inpatient setting.
VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care partners with many long-term care facilities and nursing homes throughout the New York metropolitan area. We provide specialized services to complement the care provided by the facility’s staff, ensuring that individuals get the care they need right in the comfort of their residence.
Eligibility for hospice is established on a case-by-case basis. We can answer your questions and help you evaluate whether hospice might be an option, and work with your doctor as needed. Call our dedicated hospice team at any time of day or night at 1-212-609-1900.
Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans (including HMOs) cover the costs associated with hospice care or care related to end-stage illness. This includes all care professionals (such as a nurse, social worker, physician, and home health aides) as well as medications, supplies, and equipment necessary to manage care.
Insurance coverage of care begins as soon as you’re admitted, with no gaps or lapses in coverage as you transition from your current care.
Some patients also choose to pay privately (out of pocket) for additional hours of home health aide services.
Getting started with care is easy. Simply call the VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care Referral Center at 1-212-609-1900, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to get connected with care. We respond to referrals for care immediately.
Anyone—patient, family member, caregiver, or doctor—can make the initial call. After that, VNSNY will:
When you are admitted to hospice care:
Hospice care is provided by a team of professionals with special training to help patients and families. With hospice care, you can expect to:
Many families find that working with an experienced hospice team, such as VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care, reduces anxiety.