Questions

Does Your Patient Meet the Criteria for Homebound?

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Medicare Homebound PatientsTo qualify under Medicare for home health nursing and therapy services, Medicare requires that a patient be homebound (not necessarily bedbound). Your patients meet the Medicare requirements for homebound if:

  • They cannot leave home without “considerable and taxing effort.” Most patients have an injury or illness that makes it difficult to leave home.
  • They cannot leave home without help, such as the aid of supportive devices, special transportation, or the assistance of another person.
  • They leave home primarily for medical treatment that cannot be provided in the home (such as dialysis). They may also receive therapeutic, psychosocial, and medical treatment at a certified adult day care program.
  • They occasionally leave home for non-medical purposes with the absence being “infrequent and short in duration.” Some examples include attending a religious service or a special family event, taking a walk around the block, and getting a haircut.

Remember, a patient does not need to be bedridden to be considered confined to the home.

Homebound criteria applied to psychiatric patients:

  • Illness is manifested by a refusal to leave the home (e.g., severe depression, paranoia, agoraphobia).
  • Due to illness it would be unsafe for the patient to leave the home (e.g., hallucinations, violent outbursts).

NOTE: Psychiatric patients may have no physical limitations.


Can I get physical therapy in my home?

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Physical Therapy Improves Strength and Mobility

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, have a chronic disease or a long-term health problem, chances are your doctor has probably prescribed physical therapy to help in the healing process.

Physical therapy improves mobility, as well as strength, balance, and overall fitness. Treatments make it easier to move around and do everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, and walking. Physical therapy is often prescribed for many conditions affecting older people, including recovery from hip and joint replacements, back pain, and balance problems. Among seniors over the age of 65, falling is the leading cause of injury death and hospital readmissions for trauma.

One of the main things that brings older people to the physical therapist is a fall, according to Jennifer M. Bottomley, president of the geriatrics section of the American Physical Therapy Association and adviser to the surgeon general, as stated in a WebMD article.

Armed with physical therapy treatments, seniors are more likely to prevent a fall and maintain their independence.

Physical therapy is often prescribed for the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Balance problems
  • Diseases like arthritis, COPD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and ALS
  • Diseases or injuries affecting muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments
  • Hip/joint replacement
  • Incontinence
  • Pain associated with cancer
  • Stroke recovery care

How prevalent is breast cancer?

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Frequently Asked Questions: Breast Cancer

More than half of the women who will die from breast cancer this year are age 65 and older.

Education is a powerful tool in the fight against disease. Test your knowledge of breast cancer with our collection of frequently asked questions:

About 227,000 women here in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and about 40,000 women will die from it. More than half of those deaths will be among women who are 65 and older, according to the American Cancer Society. Only lung cancer accounts for more deaths in women.

What are the main risk factors?

The two most significant risk factors for getting breast cancer are being female and growing older. About 1 out of 8 invasive breast cancers are found in women younger than 45, while about 2 of 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older. Read more


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