VNA Answer Nurse: Home Health Care

My dad is leaving the hospital after a knee replacement. He’s been referred for home health care. What does that mean?

Home health care includes services such as skilled nursing care, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Home health must be referred by a physician and is for homebound patients who need a nurse or therapist to deliver care at home. For knee replacement surgery, a physical therapist may come in and develop a plan of care to rehabilitate and increase your strength and mobility.  

Q: How are home health care services paid for?                                                                                                             

A. Home health care services are covered through the Medicare Part A and/or Part B benefit. Patients must be under the care of a physician, a physician needs to refer home health care services and the patient must be considered homebound to qualify for Medicare-covered services.

Q: How do home health care services work?                                                                                                           

A: Once a referral is submitted, the home health agency will contact you by phone to schedule the first visit. This will usually happen within 48 hours after you are discharged from the hospital or outpatient facility.

Q: What will happen on the first visit?

A: The length of time for the first visit will vary. During this time, the nurse or therapist will perform a complete assessment of your health, determine your needs and document it. This assessment is done because the health care team must have a thorough understanding of your needs to provide you with the best possible care.

Q: How long will I receive home health care visits?

A: The number of visits you receive will depend on the doctor’s orders and your health status. Your nurse or therapist will monitor your progress to help the doctor decide how often the visits should occur and how long they should last. It’s important to remember that home health care agencies work with your physician to develop your plan of care.

 Q: Am I allowed to choose my own home health care agency or does my doctor or hospital select an agency?

A: Patients always have the right to choose which home health agency they want to use for their care. When your doctor recommends home health care, it is your choice as to which agency you invite into your home and trust to care for you or your loved one.

This information if for educational purposes only; please speak with your phyisican about any medical issues. VNA is a non-profit home health and private care agency serving all of Brevard county. For more information, please visit or call 321.752.7550.