What’s the Difference Between Home Health Care and Private Duty?
During National Home Care and Hospice Month, we have been thrilled to highlight our Home and Community Based Services in various ways! One of the most common questions our Porter Hills Home Health Care team members receive is, “what is the difference between home health care and private duty?” This can certainly be a confusing topic! While both utilize some of the same services, key differences are the payer source and qualifications.
Certified Home Health Care
Home health care, or certified home care services, are skilled services that are provided on an intermittent basis in the home for someone of reduced mobility, or who struggles leaving home. Skilled services include nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical social work, and speech and language therapy.
To qualify for these services, potential clients need:
- An order from a doctor
- Have a diagnosis requiring intermittent skilled care while displaying a taxing effort to leave your home
- Have had an encounter with a doctor 90 days prior to receiving home health care services
If you meet these conditions, skilled home health care is normally covered by your health insurance (some clients may incur copays or deductibles.)
Skilled home health care can be ordered from the hospital/emergency department, rehabilitation center, or a doctor’s office. There is no requirement for a hospital stay to be able to utilize home heath care services. Some common examples of needing home health care include a recent surgery, wound care, disease and pain management, I.V. antibiotics, and more.
Most skilled home health team members are licensed and trained individuals; for example, a registered nurse, physical therapist, speech therapist, etc.
Private duty services, also known as personal care services, are paid for out of pocket and do not require a doctor’s order. This care offers one-on-one assistance provided in the home or outside of the home to help maintain independence and safety of you or your loved one. Services can range from basic companionship, housekeeping, or meal preparation, to daily or weekly medication set up. Private duty aides can also assist with an exercise program, grocery shopping, transporting to and from appointments, even decorate your Christmas tree! Typically, private duty services require a minimum number of hours per visit, but can be as often as 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Private duty team members may be licensed or unlicensed professionals, depending on the services being requested. For example, a registered nurse is most likely not going to be hired to provide meal preparation and assistance with household tasks.
Determining the best fit
When determining whether you or a loved one need home health care or private duty services, there is a lot to consider! With clear differences between the two, a doctor or social worker is always available to assist you through your decision-making process based on specific medical needs.
If you or a loved one find yourself in need of home health care, consider Porter Hills Home Health Care! Serving the greater Chelsea and Grand Rapids regions, our dedicated and skilled professionals are well equipped to meet individual needs in the comfort of your home. Learn more about Porter Hills Home Health Care and all home-based services at our website.