Educating Home Care Referral Sources About Home Care Options

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From tips on how to plan ahead to help seniors age in place, to the ways in which technology is impacting the home care industry, season one of the Help Choose Home podcast series covered a diverse set of topics all aimed at helping to educate and promote the value of aging in place.

To kick off season two, host Merrily Orsini, president and CEO of corecubed, discusses the 2019 health care at home landscape as it relates to making referrals for care at home. This will be part of a wider discussion throughout the season about how to educate the many referral sources about the benefits and value of home care.

While the concept of home care is well-established and known as an important service for seniors and their families, there is not a one-size fits all model. Rather, home care options can be as unique as the individual who needs them–providing a little assistance every few days, round-the-clock help twenty-four-hours per day/seven days per week, or something in between. Because of this, home care is often seen as an overly complicated industry and there is uncertainty around who should provide referrals and how home care is paid for.

When people enter an acute care setting, a majority wish is to return home as quickly as possible at the end of their stay. Helping educate medical professionals to understand this desire, as well as the options available for in-home care are critical factors in bringing about a better understanding of the industry.

It is also important to understand two reasons that may preclude an individual from returning to his/her home after an operation or other acute-care episode: First, can the individual safely get in and out of bed and use the toilet on his/her own? Second, does the individual have a support system in place – family or friends who can assist with bathing, feeding, washing clothes, and monitoring medications, among other things? Understanding the answers to these two questions will help determine the type of home care for which an individual may be eligible.

Currently, there are three primary ways in which home care costs are covered in the United States:

  1. Medicare – For homebound individuals 65 years of age or older who have a skilled health or therapy need that requires the help of a licensed professional.
  2. Medicaid – Provided through federal and state funds with each state determining different rules and regulations for recipients. Typically, Medicaid covers lower-income individuals who need long-term or ongoing health care at home.
  3. Private Duty – Care that is paid for/funded out of pocket and is available to help seniors remain independent in their homes. The home care industry is regulated individually by 30 states.

For those of us in the home care industry, our job is to determine the most effective ways to educate referral sources about home care options that are in the best interest of the person who needs care. Can the person go home with help or does the individual need to temporarily go to a more highly specialized post-acute care facility? Will combinations of care meet their needs, and how long will the help be needed? Once the appropriateness of home care is determined, then eligibility with Medicare, Medicaid or private duty care can be investigated.

Throughout season two of the Help Choose Home podcast series, we will hear from industry experts who discuss the opportunities we have to do a better job educating referral sources about the benefits of home care.

Listen to the full Help Choose Home podcast series with Merrily Orsini here, or by searching for “Help Choose Home” on iTunes, Google, or on any device at https://player.fm/series/help-choose-home.


The Help Choose Home podcast series provides information and resources to help those with a care need learn more about healthcare at home. Podcasts are hosted by Merrily Orsini, president and CEO of corecubed, a marketing firm dedicated exclusively to helping aging care providers grow their business.  

Help Choose Home is a collaborative effort by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC)Axxess, and corecubed to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry, which includes non-medical home care, private duty nursing care, medical home health, hospice, and other in-home health and wellness services.