Help At Home

What are the different types of Home Care Agencies and Services?

Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) provide part-time, intermittent care and support services to individuals who need intermediate and skilled health care. “Skilled services” are defined as tasks that can only be provided by Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists.  Additional non-skilled services are defined as medical supplies and equipment, social work, nutrition, and home health aide services.  However, those can only continue as long as you need the “Skilled” services.  Typically, services are short term (60 days or less).  Services provided by CHHAs may be reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, private payment, and some health insurers.  This is truly a “short term” care option.

Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs) offer home care services to clients who pay privately or have private insurance coverage.  These agencies may also contract to provide services to Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries whose cases are managed by another provider or entity, such as providing home health aide services to a certified home health agency (CHHA) patient or providing a licensed practical nurse for a Medicaid prior-approved private duty nursing shift.  The NYS Department of Health is responsible for monitoring the care provided by licensed care services agencies.  These agencies can provide long term care, as long as there is a source of payment.

Non-licensed agencies typically do not accept insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid.  Most often they are private pay or may be reimbursed by long term care insurance.  There are many agencies like this that provide equal level of care to that of the licensed agencies.  They are less regulated.

Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans are funded by Medicaid.  Approved by the NYS Department of Health, MLTCs help provide services and support to people with a long-lasting health problem or disability.  These plans can provide Medicaid home care and other long term care benefits.

Companion Care Services provide help within the home and social engagement geared to reduce loneliness and isolation.  No personal care services like dressing or bathing.  They may include such services as shopping, light housekeeping, taking to MDs, trips to hairdresser and more.  They are not government regulated.

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