What is “Home Care” and how does it differ from “Home Healthcare”?
In its truest meaning, Home Care refers to any type of care (medical or non-medical) that is provided for the client in their home. In recent years, however, there has been a slight shift in terminology. While Home Care can be used to describe both medical and non-medical care, typically “Home Care” refers to non-medical care such as companionship/homemaking services and personal care services, while “Home Healthcare” refers to the provision of skilled nursing care and other care such as speech, physical or occupational therapy.
What services do you provide?
We provide both “home health care” services and “in-home care” services to eligible patients.
How do we pay for your services?
We honor forms of payment such as Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation, Commercial Medical Insurance and Private Pay. For our home caregiving services, we accept personal checks, Visa, Master Card and American Express, as well as most long-term care and worker’s compensation insurance plans*
. For additional information, please go to “Paying For Our Services
Will my health insurance, Medicare, or Medi-Cal pay for your Caregiver services?
Unfortunately at this time, non-medical in-home care is not eligible for health insurance benefits, Medicare or Medi-Cal. However some Long-Term Care Insurance policies will pay for these services. Each policy is different so please check your specific policy or contact your insurance agent to determine if your coverage is eligible for reimbursement. We can provide the documentation (Care/Nursing Notes) to assist your filing for reimbursement.
Does insurance pay for your Caregiver service?
Non-medical homecare is very similar to Assisted Living. In most cases, our clients pay privately for our services. If the care recipient has Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance, that policy will pay for our services. All LTC benefits are unique (deductibles, waiting periods, maximums, etc), so contact your LTC provider to verify your policy’s benefits. Medicare does not cover caregiver type of service.
Many U.S. Veterans also have a benefit that pays for our services. Feel free to call our office for your Veteran’s Specialist’s contact information.
What are your rates?
Our rates are hourly, and are determined by the level of care that is required in each situation. Our rates include all payroll, payroll taxes, bonding, insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance. The hours required to properly care for your loved one will be based on their needs assessed on the interview and on an ongoing basis.
Are there minimum hours of service required?
Yes, we have minimum hours required. Minimums are very helpful in providing quality, consistent care to our clients. Caregivers rely upon these hours for their livelihood, and a consistent schedule leads to consistent care. Our current minimum is three hours per shift, and nine hours per week (subject to change).
Are your services tax-deductible?
Eldercare is considered dependent care (similar to childcare). Contact your accountant for more information on requirements and deduction limits.
Is there an additional cost for errands and transportation?
If your caregiver uses their car for errands or transportation, you will be invoiced at prevailing the IRS rate. Mileage is not charged if the caregiver drives your vehicle.
Which Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance Companies recognize you as a provider?
We go through an application process with each LTC Insurance Company. We have gained approval from each LTC Insurance Company to whom we have applied. Here is a list of the companies that recognize us to date:
- Aetna PharMerica Corporation
- Banker’s Life & Casualty Co.
- CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System)
- CHCS Services (John Hancock)
- Genworth Financial
- Golden Rule (United Healthcare)
- LifeCare (Secure Horizons)
- Lincoln Financial Group
Can my caregiver assist with medications, injections, medical advice or assistance?
For your safety and protection (as well as our adherence to the law), our caregivers cannot administer medical services. Your caregiver can remind you to take your medications; however, they cannot physically administer any medications to you including injections or other similar treatments.
Do I need a physician’s authorization/prescription for Caregiver services?
No. There is no pre-authorization or prescription required. If you have Long Term Care Insurance coverage and want to ensure that services will be covered, we recommend confirming this with your carrier.
Who is eligible for care?
You will be eligible to receive our services if you:
- are being treated for an illness
- have just recently been discharged from the hospital and have become homebound
- have received recommendation from your physician for home health care or in-home care
Am I eligible for home health care?
To receive home health care, a patient must be considered “homebound” under Medicare guidelines. What this means is, it would take a considerable amount of effort (taxing) to leave home. The patient must also need nursing or therapy. Click here on Medicare
to find out if you are eligible for Medicare or to check for specific eligibility requirements for Medicare patients.
How can I receive home health care?
It must be ordered by a physician. We can come to your home and do a free assessment of your needs. We will then contact the physician for you. If the physician agrees with the treatment plan, home health care can be started.
How are your caregivers selected?
Applicants undergo a series of interviews, background checks and skills assessment. To keep their skills sharp and their healthcare training updated, we regularly conduct evaluations with our staff. We also schedule trainings and coaching conferences.
Before I choose a caregiver, can I meet with them first?
Yes. We encourage patients and families to meet with their caregiver first. When your personalities match and you are comfortable to work with each other, continuity of care is easier to achieve.
Do you only provide your healthcare services to homes?
Although our services are largely devoted to providing health care services in residential homes, we also extend the delivery to nursing homes or care facilities.
Who pays the caregiver?
The caregiver will be in our employ so St. Francis Home Health Agency will be arranging compensation and benefits. You only need to make your payment to St. Francis Home Health Agency directly.