Home Care

Why Home Care?

Home care is an excellent cost-effective alternative to institutional care. Consumers overwhelmingly prefer home care delivered services because it:


keeps families together
supports independence
is significantly less expensive and more efficient than other forms of health care
prevents or postpones institutionalization
involves the individual and family in services that are delivered
represents the best American tradition

Home Care is both the oldest and newest form of health care. Traditionally given at home throughout the centuries, home care now is taking advantage of modern technologies, making virtually anything that can be done in a hospital available at home. Home care is the most cost effective and satisfying type of health service available.

Skilled nursing services offered by Decatur County Public Health include:

skilled assessment and instruction (such as blood pressure, pulse rate, response to new medication, and health conditions)
wound care and dressings
catheter or ostomy care and instructions
blood draws and injections
IV therapy
diabetic instruction
education of family members, friends, or other caregiver(s) in the care/support of the patient
physicians may initiate service, determine plan of care for skilled services, and will review services periodically

Agency staff may assist you to obtain other services if appropriate to meet your health care needs - such as home medical equipment and therapies; and/or hospital, nursing home, or hospice care.

Types of Wound Care diagnoses to refer to home care services:

stasis ulcer
pressure ulcer - decub - staging
surgical wounds
venous access ports
PICC lines
Other types of medical problems to refer to home care services:
coronary artery bypass graft
cerebral vascular accident
congestive heart failure
atrial fibrillation
peripheral vascular disease
physical disability, such as paralysis
physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy referrals

For all of the above diagnoses, home care services CAN:

teach education and coping skills for a NEW disease process
do high risk diseases and monitoring
during visits, can refer when to see a physician
medication changes; monitor effects
prevent frequent hospitalization
provide Case Management through:
Waiver programs - must be 65 or older and Medicaid eligible and nursing home level of care
In-Home Provider
Home Health Aide - skilled and non-skilled services

Certified Home Care Aides/Homemaker services are available for the following needs:

perform skilled personal care procedures
assist in bathing, grooming, dressing, cooking, and exercises
vacuum, dust, clean, light housekeeping
prepare nutritious meals
do laundry
teach budgeting, parenting skills, and provide emotional support


provide physical, occupational, and speech therapies according to patient's needs


Home care is paid for by a variety of sources. However, benefits and requirements vary greatly. Major home care payment sources include:

Patient/Private Pay - Home care services can be personally paid. The scope of services and the charges are negotiated between the patient/family and the agency. For those whose resources do not cover home care, Decatur County Public Health and Home Care offers a sliding-scale fee schedule so that a family need only pay what it can afford. These grants are limited.
Private Health Insurance - Policy coverage varies. Generally private insurance coverage is limited to physician-directed medical services and equipment. The patient and family should check with their insurance agent to determine coverage specifics.
Medicare - The patient must be under a physician's plan of care, homebound, and in need of intermittent skilled nursing care or occupational/physical/speech therapy. Eligible clients may receive a range of services which include skilled nursing, home care aide, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, and medical social work.
Medicaid/Title 19 - This federal/state administered medical assistance program provides services similar to Medicare for low-income people. No prior hospitalization or "skilled" level of service is required to qualify. Individuals do not need to be homebound.
Workers' Compensation - Any person needing home care services as a result of injury on the job is eligible. Workers' compensation representatives have information on eligibility.
Health Maintenance Organizations - HMOs and Comprehensive Medical Plans (CMP) with Medicare contracts must provide the full range of Medicare-covered services that are available in a geographic area, including home care services.
Champus (Tri-Care Insurance) - On a cost-shared basis, this program covers skilled nursing care and other professional medical home care for dependents of active military personnel, retirees, and their dependents and survivors.