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When choosing care options for yourself or a loved one, it's essential to understand the differences and similarities between home care and home health. Both services provide support at home but serve different needs. This blog post will explore these differences and similarities, using reliable sources to give you a clear picture.

Home Care: Compassionate Support for Daily Living

Definition and Services Offered:

Home care, also known as non-medical home care, helps with daily activities. Services include:

- Personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming)
- Meal preparation
- Light housekeeping
- Companionship
- Transportation to appointments
- Help with moving around

Some home care agencies also offer private nursing services for specific medical needs that don't require intensive medical oversight, such as:

- Medication Management
- Physician Communication
- Vital Sign/Pacemaker Monitoring
- Wound Care
- Lab Work
- Injections

Need for Physician's Orders:

Home care services typically do not need a physician's order. They are usually arranged by the individual or their family based on personal needs and preferences. However, private nursing services may require orders like active prescription or wound care orders to perform. 

Primary Payer:

Home care is usually paid for out-of-pocket by the individual or their family. Some long-term care insurance policies may cover certain home care services, but Medicare and Medicaid generally do not.

Home Health: Medical Support at Home

Definition and Services Offered:

Home health care provides medical services from licensed healthcare professionals. These services are often needed after a hospital stay or for managing chronic conditions, including:

- Skilled nursing care (wound care, injections, health monitoring)
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Medical social services
- Help with medical equipment and supplies

Need for Physician's Orders:

Home health services require a physician's order. A doctor must confirm that the patient needs intermittent skilled nursing care, therapy, or other medical services.

Primary Payer:

Home health services are usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance plans, as long as the services meet specific criteria and are medically necessary.

Similarities Between Home Care and Home Health

Despite their differences, home care and home health share some similarities:

1. Home-Based Services:
   Both types of care are delivered in the patient's home, allowing individuals to stay in a familiar environment.

2. Personalized Care Plans:
   Both home care and home health services offer personalized care plans tailored to the individual's specific needs.

3. Support for Aging in Place:
   Both services help seniors remain in their homes as long as possible, rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Regulations and Standards

Both home care and home health services follow regulations and standards to ensure quality and safety. For example, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) provides guidelines and regulations for home care services, which can be found in their regulation document. Home health services are regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), with detailed benefits and requirements outlined in their benefits document.

For more detailed information about home care and home health services, please visit our website or refer to the resources provided by DHEC and CMS.

Choosing the Right Care

Knowing the differences and similarities between home care and home health helps you make informed decisions. Home care offers non-medical assistance with daily living, while home health provides medical care for health conditions and recovery from illnesses or surgeries. Both types of care help individuals maintain their independence and quality of life at home.

Our Solutions

We offer a range of services to meet your home care and home health needs. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized, high-quality care to support you or your loved one at home.

For additional information or to discuss care options, please visit our website or contact us directly.



- Home Health Benefits
- DHEC Home Care Regulations
- DHEC Distinction Memo

For more information or to discuss care options, please visit our website or contact us directly.