Home Health Care vs Custodial Care

Posted on October 26, 2016

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Caring for an ill or elderly loved one is hard enough. To add to the stress, some people may not know the difference between home health and custodial care, especially as it pertains to insurance coverage. Read on to learn the information you or your family members will need to make the best decision on which to choose for quality at home care.

Home Health Care Basics

Home Health Care, also referred to as HHC, provides a number of different medical services to home-bound individuals in their own private residence. To qualify for HHC, a patient must be under the care of a doctor, and all services must be laid out by the doctor as part of the patient's overall plan of care. A patient who receives HHC does not need to have a condition that is expected to improve, so HHC can be a good fit for a wide range of patients and patient needs. HHC services may include:

  • Skilled nursing and home health aide services
  • Physical rehabilitation and/or occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Medical equipment and supplies (for example: wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and/or walkers)

Custodial Care Basics

Custodial Care is another great way to provide support for an ill or elderly loved one, but it is a different service altogether than HHC. Custodial care services are provided by a "non-skilled" provider who does not need to be a medical or nursing professional. The services that custodial care provides include basic assistance with daily functions, such as eating, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, in home meals and light homemaking services. Someone receiving custodial care may also receive some help with basic medical tasks, such as taking pills or using eye drops, but no advanced medical treatment or procedures are typically done as part of custodial care.

Insurance Tips

While both HHC and Custodial Care can offer significant quality of life benefits, it's important to know that Medicare does not pay for Custodial Care, but it may pay up to 100% for HHC services. To receive full reimbursement for HHC, a patient must be under the care of a doctor, must receive HHC from a Medicare-approved home health agency and must also demonstrate a clear inability to comfortably and safely leave their home.

Not sure if you or your loved one qualifies for HHC? Contact us at Peconic Bay Medical Center today to learn more about you and your family's options for at home care that's covered by insurance.