Home Health and In-Home Rehabilitation: A great partnership through Veterans Memorial Hospital

November is National Home Care Month. The purpose of home care is to keep people in their homes, near their families and in their communities for as long as possible. Home health care can provide a range of services including wound care, therapy, rehabilitative services following surgery and home infusion of drugs.

Home medical care is far less expensive than assisted living or long-term care and is covered by most insurance plans. Private insurance providers, such as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and government policies like Medicare and Medicaid cover home health care from certified agencies. Most insurance plans require a prior authorization/prior approval before care is given as well as a treatment plan signed off by a doctor.

The Rehabilitation Therapists from Veterans Memorial Hospital will also provide “in-home” therapy to people in need of this service.  Therapy in the home is covered under Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance, such as Humana.

“People who have difficulty getting out of their homes really benefit from this service,” states Amy Robinson, Physical Therapist and Director of Rehabilitation Services at Veterans Memorial Hospital. “We come to them and bring weights, exercise bands, or other equipment that they may need during the session. We offer personalized, individualized care right in their homes at times that are convenient for them.”

Patients who have been in the hospital often choose to go straight home instead of to a long-term care facility when they are discharged. But sometimes they are not strong enough to get back to their prior activities and find it difficult or unsafe to get around the house, go up and down steps, and get outside to a car. In these cases, therapy in the home is beneficial. It gives the patient a chance to recover and get stronger and back on their feet before being expected to go out every day.

“This is such a great service to all the communities served by Veterans Memorial hospital,” adds Robinson. “We are the only Medicare-certified home health agency in the county, so we stay very busy. The therapists enjoy making home visits and giving care that is helping people stay active and at home. We often hear our clients say they are not yet ready to go to a nursing home. Veterans Memorial Hospital’s nurses, therapists and home care aides do everything possible to keep our patients staying active and safe at home.”

“We enjoy the fact our home health services help people stay in the most familiar setting available - their own homes,” states Lisa Moose, Director of Community and Home Care at Veterans Memorial Hospital. “It is a very rewarding career, helping them preserve as much of their lives as possible while providing their necessary care right in their own home.”

In addition to the numerous home health visits, many other public services are offered by Community and Home Care such as blood pressure screenings, immunization clinics and foot clinics.

The Community and Home Care department at Veterans Memorial Hospital is currently offering flu shots every Wednesday afternoon during its regular immunization clinics. The next flu shot clinics will be held Wednesday, November 28 from 1-4 p.m. and again Wednesday, December 5 from 1-6 p.m.

Immunization clinics are held from 1-6 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month, and from 1-4 p.m. all other Wednesdays. Flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, and a combination of flu and pneumonia vaccine are all available. Tetanus shots are offered as well.

Anyone who is being directed by a physician to begin home health care services has the choice as to which home care and rehabilitation service cares for them and should request that service. For more information on Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care and their partnership with Veterans Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation, call 563-568-5660.

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