Home Care and Home Health…What’s the difference?

Skilled care givers verus unksilled care providers. Which type are you looking for?


Home health care is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of health care services that can be provided in your home. Home health care can be divided into two additional descriptors “Home Care” and “Home Health

Home Care describes unskilled care provided by caregivers, usually referred to as home health aides, personal care givers, or homemakers. These individuals are trained in the intricacies of senior care. Home care aides can provide assistance with activities of daily living or provide companionship. Home care is classified as personal care or companion care and is not considered “skilled” care.

Home Health is a phrase that describes clinical medical care provided by a Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist, and Speech Therapist, Physical Therapist or other skilled medical professionals. Home Health is typically prescribed as part of an interdisciplinary, multi-setting approach to medical care following an acute illness, exacerbation of chronic illness or surgery.

The fundamental difference between Home Care and Home Health is who pays for the service. Due to its unskilled nature Home Care is typically privately paid with some state programs providing assistance with the cost. Home Health is a service that is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Agencies can find it difficult to meet the regulatory demands of the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS doesn’t recognize the patient as Jane Smith but instead views Jane Smith through a series of codes. These codes are diagnosis codes, OASIS items, G-codes from claims, and procedure codes. These codes are also used in different formulas that are important in measuring outcomes and re-hospitalizations.

Select Data provides professional coding services to Home Health agencies and are industry experts in the language of CMS. We assist agencies with the accurate representation of their patient. To find out how Select Data can help you improve coding accuracy check out our OASIS review and coding services click here.

Check out our FREE 30-minute webinar for OASIS-C2 corrections and more. Select Connects with Clinicians webinar on December 14, 2016. Click here to read more.
Select Data is committed to a strong compliance program that includes educating all personnel on mitigating HIPAA breaches. For more information about Select Data and their commitment to quality in Home Health and Hospice, call 1.800. 332.0555.
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