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Medicare and Home Care

Medicare covers care at home if the person is recovering from an acute illness, a doctor orders the services, or if the beneficiary is homebound. Coverage is available for people who need skilled, intermittent care. Intermittent care means fewer than seven days a week, or less than eight hours a day.

The coverage includes skilled nursing care and physical, speech, and occupational therapy. For example, a recovering stroke victim could get occupational therapy—assistance with learning anew how to handle the most essential activities of daily life, such as eating and getting dressed.

The coverage may also include the services of a home-health aide, who may help with bathing, dressing, or using the toilet. The home-health aide is a person who does not have a nursing license. The aide's work, assisting a patient with personal care, is not covered by Medicare if these are the only services a patient needs. However they are covered if the patient is getting skilled-nursing care or therapy services.

Example: Ms. Brown has had major surgery, is recovering at home, and her dressings must be changed twice a day by a nurse. She is bed-bound. A nurse is needed to change the dressings. But the patient may also receive help from a home-health aide who will bathe her.

A person can receive home care only if a doctor orders it, and if the person is “normally unable to leave the house.” Home care is limited to less than eight hours a day, and cannot exceed 28 hours a week.

For more information on Medicare and home care, see:

The official Medicare website is www.medicare.gov.

All Comments

Does Medicare pay for my bath chair, necessary since injured. A. billhimer
My mother has been staying in an assisted living facility for a Stroke. My complain is the following.
The doctors monitor her insulin and all her pills well nut they feed her mashed potatoes, corn chowder and chicken, pancakes with regular sugar for bkft. Her sugar goes up to 340. Then they give her 6 units of insulin her suger goes up to 75! They could of pug her in a coma! I never got a phone call for any reason! I arrive at 830 pm to find out my mom's being discharged the next morning to go to a subacute facility. No phone call from the facility or social worker. The facility got the info at 5pm. My brother arrives at 430 said hello to the front desk nurse. I arrive at 830pm I Go Ask About My mom's discharge. the nurse said ur mom is being discharged at 11am tomorrow. My Q. Is aren't they required to let the family know with a phone call at least.,

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