Referring to Home Health

How to refer to home health and the benefits for both patient and referring physician.

Patients Benefit From In-Home Pulmonary Rehabilitation

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Benefits of home-based therapy include stronger clinical outcomes, reduced emergency care need, and increased compliance to physician’s orders.

Do you care for patients who have COPD, chronic lung disease, or who have conditions that make it hard for them to breathe? Your patients may benefit from a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to their door. These programs are often provided by skilled home health agencies. Patients who receive specialized treatment in their home have better clinical outcomes and a reduced need for emergency care.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an intervention that can combine exercise, education, and behavior modification strategies in an effort to minimize symptoms and improve quality of life. A multidisciplinary program is individually tailored to optimize a patient’s physical and social functioning and increase their autonomy. Patients are taught how to manage their symptoms and reach their maximum functioning level. Read more

When to Refer the ALF Resident to Home Health

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Assisted living facilities can allow their residents to age in place and avoid unnecessary transfers to higher skilled facilities by utilizing home health services earlier in the disease process.

Residents may benefit from home health services if they:

  • Are experiencing an exacerbation of a chronic condition
  • Have a health issue that could get better through therapy
  • Have hard-to-heal wounds
  • Have trouble managing multiple medications
  • Suffer chronic UTIs
  • Make frequent or unscheduled visits to physician offices or emergency rooms
  • Are at risk for falling (Common risk factors for falling include: increasing age, weakness, having suffered a prior fall, incorrect ambulation, foot issues, fear of falling,  medication usage, having a chronic disease/condition, increasing need for assistance with activities of daily living .) Read more

Documenting Face-to-Face

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Medicare Patient Physician face-to-face DocumentationTips to help make it easy to document face-to-face encounters with your patient referrals

Documentation of a face-to-face encounter between you and the patients you refer to home health is required by CMS as of April 1, 2011.

Streamline the process with these quick and easy tips:

*If you certify a patient is eligible for Medicare home health services, you must see that patient within 90 days prior or 30 days after the start of home health care and provide documentation of the visit.

Required in the Documentation

  • The patient’s name
  • The date of the face-to-face encounter with the patient
  • Reason for homebound status
  • Why the need for skilled home health services
  • Your signature and the date Read more

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