Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh

Medicare Certified Home Health Agencies The term home health agency often indicates that a homecare provider is Medicare certified. A Medicare-cer- tified agency has met federal minimum requirements for patient care and management and therefore can provide home health services that are paid for by Medicare from a home health agency. Due to regulatory requirements, services provided by these agencies are very specific and must meet all the Medicare rules. Hospice Hospice care involves a core interdisciplinary team of skilled professionals and volunteers who provide compre- hensive medical, psychological, and spiritual care for the terminally ill and support for patients’ families. Hospice care also includes the provision of related medications, medical supplies, and equipment. It is based primarily in the home, enabling families to remain together. Trained hospice professionals are available 24 hours a day to as- sist the family in caring for the patient, ensure that the patient’s wishes are honored, and keep the patient com- fortable and free from pain. Hospices are Medicare-certi- fied and licensed according to state requirements. Personal Care These agencies mostly provide non-medical services such as companions, homemakers and just about any- thing else people need to help them remain in their home. Pennsylvania does not require these agencies to be licensed or meet regulatory requirements. Some agencies assign nurses to assess their clients’ needs to ensure that personnel are properly assigned and provide How to Choose a Homecare Provider 10 Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Pittsburgh Health Article