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hospice and home health comparison chart

If you or a loved one is experiencing a serious illness and need supportive care, you might be wondering what type of help is available to you. Depending on your diagnosis and goals, you may benefit from hospice or home health care. Though you might think these terms are interchangeable, they have different purposes.

While both hospice and home health offer skilled medical care and are designed to help patients avoid hospitalization, the team-based hospice model provides an extra layer of support for patients with a terminal illness who have a life expectancy of six months or less. The goal of home health care, on the other hand, is to treat a chronic illness or injury. Hospice care supports the whole family, while home health care is focused on the patient.

Hospice is designed to optimize your comfort and quality of life so you can make the most of the time you have left, whether that’s days, weeks or months. In addition to pain and symptom management provided by doctors and nurses, hospice offers personal care through certified nursing assistants, and emotional and spiritual support through counselors, social workers and chaplains. Volunteers are also available to provide companionship and respite.

Medical supplies and equipment are provided as part of your hospice benefit. Care extends beyond the patient to the family, and can be provided wherever a patient calls home, or in a hospital setting if needed. Hospice visits are scheduled as needed seven days a week, with 24-hour phone and visit support.

Short-term home health care offers treatment and therapies that are designed to help you regain your strength and independence. To continue receiving home health care, your condition must show improvement. Some patients with chronic conditions may receive long-term home health care, which is designed to maintain your highest level of ability, and help you learn to live with your illness or disability. However, most home health care is short term and time limited.

Home health care is restricted to skilled nursing care and treatments such as physical, speech or occupational therapy. Medical supplies, medication and personal care services are usually not included, or must be paid out of pocket. In most cases, visits are provided up to 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday, and patients must be homebound to receive treatment. The length of service is determined by your goals of care.

Both hospice and home health care are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance.

Hosparus Health’s hospice care team provides the highest-quality care and support so patients and families can focus on what’s important — creating more moments together. Call us today at (800)-HOSPICE or contact us online to learn if you or your loved one would benefit from our services.


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