Discharge planners/case managers who work in institutions such as acute hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, etc. may not have thought about a fundamental difference between home care and care provided in the institutions in which they work. The difference is that patients receive continuous care in institutional settings, but receive only intermittent care from home care providers, including home health agencies, hospices, HME (home medical equipment) companies and private duty agencies, unless they choose to receive and pay for 24-hour care seven days per week of private duty care. Few patients choose the latter, if for no other reason than because it is extremely expensive. Most home care patients, therefore, receive only intermittent care.
Patients must continuously meet the following criteria, regardless of payor source, in order to be generally appropriate for home care services: (more…)