What qualifies someone for homebound status?
It is critical to determine if a client is considered homebound or not in order to receive home health care services. When assessing a client for homecare, ask yourself these two questions to determine their eligibility: "Can the patient obtain these services in another setting (eg. outpatient facility)?" and "Does it require a considerable and taxing effort for the patient to leave their home?" The key is examining how taxing and how safe it would be for a patient to leave home for specific services. The basic criteria for Homebound Status is that the person be confined to their home due to illness or injury, the person leaves home infrequently for short periods to places such as the doctor's office, religious services, or adult day programs, and leaving home for the person requires effort, assistive devices, assistance from other, and/or special transportation. Be sure to not only ask questions during your assessment related to these areas, but to observe the clients behaviors and skills in order to determine if they are homebound. If a person meets the criteria for Homebound Status, they can be seen by homecare staff (nursing, therapy, social work, etc.) and have these visits covered by Medicare or private insurance. If they do not meet this criteria, you should make recommendations and referrals for them to receive treatment via an outpatient facility.
Megan Malone, M.A., CCC-PT is a speech-language pathologist working for Gentiva Health Services. She previously worked for 9 years as a senior research associate and lead trainer at Myers Research Institute, in Cleveland, OH where she oversaw federally/privately funded grants focused on implementing interventions with older adults with dementia. She has spoken numerous times at the annual conventions of the American Speech and Hearing Association, Gerontological Society of America, American Society on Aging, and the Alzheimer's Association, along with several state speech and hearing conventions.