About Home Health
Home health care services consist of skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, aide services, and medical social work provided to patients in their homes. Although many private insurers offer a home health benefit, Medicare is the largest payer for home health services.
To be eligible for Medicare’s home health benefit, beneficiaries must be in need of skilled nursing care on an intermittent basis (including physical therapy or speech-language pathology) or have a continuing need for occupational therapy to treat their illnesses or injuries and must be unable to leave their homes without considerable effort.
Medicare pays a predetermined payment rate for a 30-day period of home health care. The bundled payment covers all items and services, with the exclusion of durable medical equipment provided to the beneficiary during the 30-day period. There is no limit to the number of days for which a beneficiary is entitled to home health care and Medicare does not require copayments or a deductible for home health services.
The majority of patients prefer to receive care at home instead of in institutional settings, and home health care can be provided at lower costs than institutional care.
NAHC supports its members in several ways. NAHC advocates for home health care providers through Congressional members and federal regulators to promote the value of home health care. Educational opportunities are offered throughout the year and a multitude of resources are available to assist providers with day-to-day operations.
HOME HEALTH AT NAHC
INDIVIDUALIZED MEMBER SUPPORT
- MEMBER LISTSERVE: Discuss issues related to home health operations with other members and the NAHC staff.
- HELP DESK: Direct and timely access to regulatory/operations specialists for inquiries on key issues in hospice.
- MEMBER CASEWORK: Research on member-specific regulatory and operational issues.
- IN-DEPTH CASEWORK SUPPORT: For cases requiring in-depth research, analysis, and support, NAHC may supply such additional support for a charge based on staff availability, i.e. assistance with writing plans of correction, assistance with developing forms, customized chart review for audits (SMRC, OIG, etc.), and customized education.
POLICY UPDATES/EDUCATIONAL GUIDANCE
- HOME HEALTH POLICY UPDATES: NAHC offers timely notification on key home health policy changes via member listservs (discussion groups) and daily electronic newsletter.
- MEMBER RESOURCES: NAHC maintains a library of member-accessible toolkits and guidance on key regulatory/sub-regulatory requirements and operational issues.
- WEBINARS: NAHC offers numerous webinars on a monthly basis on a variety of key topics in home health care. Registration for most of these webinars is free of charge for anyone employed by a member agency, other webinars are offered at deeply reduced rates.
- LIVE EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS: NAHC holds two major conferences annually, the Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo and the Financial Management Conference and Expo. Both of these conferences offer a wide array of sessions that focus on home health financial, management, regulatory, quality, leadership, human resources, and operational issues. Employees of NAHC member agencies may attend at reduced registration rates.
DIRECT POLICY ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEMBER AGENCIES
- NAHC members are given a variety of opportunities throughout the year for involvement in the policy-making process, including:
- Opportunities to provide recommendations for regulatory and legislative policy positions and priorities for action
- Grassroots action advocacy opportunities.
- NAHC member agencies can also be more actively engaged in policy discussions through “task groups” on an as-needed basis.