Hospice and Home Health Comparisons

This is your or your loved ones health so we really want to be sure you have all the information.  We have provided some of the differences between these two services.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more or have questions.

How are they different in philosophy of care?

Home Health

  • To promote health, well-being, and quality of life

  • To manage pain, symptoms and side effects

  • To support independent living in home of choice

  • To prevent unnecessary hospitalizations

Hospice

  • To provide compassionate care to promote well-being and quality of life

  • To manage pain, symptoms and side effects

  • To support independent living in home of choice

  • To prevent unnecessary hospitalizations

  • To counsel patient and family through end-of-life process

  • To relieve caregiver burden and stress

How Long is care provided?

The length varies by type of care and the patient's needs.


Hospice: The patient receives unlimited visits for six months or longer, as long as the patient continues to have a limited life expectancy, as determined by a physician.

Home health: The length of service is determined by the goals of care. The amount, frequency and time period of the services need to be reasonable and the condition must improve or be maintained through therapy.

Can the service be received in a long term care facility?

Home health care cannot be given to patients in a long-term care facility.


Hospice: Hospice services are brought to patients anywhere they call home, including assisted living communities or nursing homes.

Home health: Home healthcare is provided in the patient’s private residence and cannot be given to patients in a long-term care facility (skilled nursing facility).  It can be received in an assisted living and independent living facility.

Are medications covered under Medicare?

With hospice, the Medicare hospice benefit covers all prescription and over-the-counter drugs related to the patient's terminal diagnosis.


Hospice: The Medicare hospice benefit covers all prescription and over-the-counter drugs related to a hospice patient’s terminal diagnosis.

Home health: Medications are not covered for home healthcare patients under the Medicare home health benefit.

Are supplies and medical equipment covered?

Supplies are covered under Medicare in varying amounts depending on type of care.


Hospice: Under the Medicare hospice benefit, all equipment and supplies related to the terminal diagnosis are provided and covered 100 percent. The need for equipment, oxygen and other products is determined by the patient’s palliative plan of care.

Home health: For home healthcare patients, medical equipment and supplies must be ordered by their physician and are covered 80 percent when approved under Medicare Part B qualification guidelines.

Is care available 24-7?

Hospice can provide up to 24 hours/day of skilled nursing and hospice aide services for certain patients.


Hospice: Hospice can provide up to 24 hours/day of skilled nursing and hospice aide services for patients who need acute symptom management and want to remain at home.

Home health: The Medicare home healthcare benefit does not cover 24-hour care.

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