Your Home, Your Health, Your Choice

Home care provides services to persons of all ages and includes preventive, acute, sub-acute, rehabilitative, and long-term care. Services range from simple assistance with activities of daily living to highly skilled IV therapy.  In Texas, Home & Community Support Services Agencies are licensed by Texas Health & Human Services to provide services in one or more of the following categories: Licensed and Certified Home Health; Licensed Home Health; Hospice; Personal Assistance Services.

Finding the best home care provider for your needs requires a little research, but it is time well spent. Quality of care and competency of personnel should be your primary concerns. You have the right to choose any home care provider who is qualified to provide the services you need, although that choice may be restricted somewhat if you are enrolled in a managed care plan. Here are some questions to consider when deciding which home care provider is best for you:

  • How long has the provider been serving the community and what services do they offer?
  • Is your physician acquainted with the quality of the home care provider?
  • Is the provider certified by Medicare? Only Medicare-certified agencies can provide services covered by Medicare.
  • Is the agency willing to work with you if you must pay out of pocket?
  • Is the provider licensed? In Texas any agency providing hands on personal assistance or skilled care services must be licensed by Texas Health & Human Services as a Home & Community Support Services Agency.
  • Is the agency a member of a state and/or national home care organization? Association membership is an indication that the agency is continually informed, values compliance and is actively involved in the home care industry.

Choosing an agency
Find an agency

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Licensed & Certified Home Health
This type of agency must provide skilled nursing services and at least one of the following services:
  • physical therapy
  • speech therapy,
  • occupational therapy, 
  • medical social services, or
  • home health aide services
Services must be provided in a person's place of residence that is used as a patient's home.  Services are provided in accordance with Medicare Certification standards. Only certified agencies may provide services for reimbursement by Medicare and certain Medicaid programs.
Licensed Home Health

This type of agency must provide one or more services required by an individual in a residence or independent living environment such as: nursing, physical, occupational, speech, or respiratory therapy; medical social service; intravenous therapy; dialysis; service provided by unlicensed personnel under the delegation of a licensed health professional; the furnishing of medical equipment and supplies (excluding drugs and medicines); or nutritional counseling.  Skilled nursing must be provided in accordance with a physician's plan of care.  If only personal care services are provided to a client, physician’s orders are not required; however, the personal care services must be supervised by a registered nurse.

Hospice
This type of agency provides a coordinated program of hospice and palliative care to terminally ill patients, and supportive services to patients, their families and significant others, in both home and facility settings, through a physician-directed plan of care. Specialized services include medical, nursing, home health aide, social services, spiritual care, bereavement services, volunteer services, and other appropriate counseling services. The hospice philosophy of care provides support for persons in the last phases of incurable illness so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice care seeks to enable patients to lead an alert, pain-free life and to manage symptoms so that their last days may be spent at home or in a home-like setting.
Personal Assistance Services

This type of agency provides routine, ongoing care or services required by an individual in a residence or independent living environment that enable the individual to engage in the activities of daily living or to perform the physical functions required for independent living, including respite services. Personal care (feeding, transferring, walking around and exercise, bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, and assistance with medications normally self-administered) may be provided by unlicensed personnel without nursing supervision. Other services and administration of medications may be performed by unlicensed personnel under RN delegation and supervision. No physician's orders are required.

Who Uses Home Care?

  • Persons discharged from the hospital who are not fully recovered.
  • Persons with chronic conditions who require frequent monitoring and can no longer meet their needs alone.
  • Persons with a terminal disease, such as cancer or AIDS, who need skilled and personal care, pain management, and emotional support.
  • Persons with limited mobility who need assistance with activities of daily living.
  • Families who need respite from caregiving and emotional support in dealing with a loved one who needs special care
  • A child with a medically complex condition, or that requires therapy services or has specific life-sustaining equipment who can thrive at home and school with nursing or therapy support.

Why Use Home Care

  • It allows for early discharge from hospitals and prevents or postpones institutionalization
  • It can be the physician’s “eyes and ears” in the home, providing confidence and peace of mind
  • It is personalized one-to-one, tailored to the needs of each individual allowing maximum freedom and independence for the client
  • It is cost effective when compared to hospital or nursing home care
  • Home care supplements the family's resources and efforts in caring for loved ones at home, keeping families together and individuals involved in their community
  • Home care allows persons to remain in their own homes, proud and independent