Home health care is health care services provided in the home, as opposed to a medical facility on a part-time basis for the treatment of an illness or injury. The home care practitioner will help patients with their activities of daily living such as dressing, cooking and chores. Home health care may include skilled nursing care as well as speech, occupational and physical therapy. The home health standards do require Drug Regimen Review, however it is not required that this be performed by a pharmacist.
It is estimated that by 2025, more than 20 percent of the country's population will be over 65 years old, with a resultant increase in the need for quality home health care.
Home Health Industry Trade and Professional Associations
Home Health Accreditation Agencies
Home Health Interactive
This Web site charges a fee for access, but provides a wide variety of news and information about the home health industry, regulatory updates, etc. A free trial is available.
HomeCare serves home medical equipment providers who provide patients in the home with medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, beds and oxygen devices), medical supplies (such as mastectomy, ostomy, wound care and diabetes products) and a variety of in-home services (such as respiratory therapy, infusion therapy and enteral nutrition).
CMS Home Health Agency Center
One stop shop on the CMS Web site for information and resources related to home health agencies.
CMS Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies
NOTE: The comprehensive patient assessment requirement for home health patients includes the following provision:
“(c) Standard: Drug regimen review. The comprehensive assessment must include a review of all medications the patient is currently using in order to identify any potential adverse effects and drug reactions, including ineffective drug therapy, significant side effects, significant drug interactions, duplicate drug therapy, and noncompliance with drug therapy.”
The patient assessment tool used in home health is the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS). Some information about medications is included in this assessment.
Home Health Compare
Home Health Compare is a Web tool that allows the user to look up any home health agency in the United States. It is maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It includes a report of publicly reported quality measures for all home health agencies. One of these quality measures is medication management. Agencies that score poorly on medication management may be able to especially benefit from the services of a consultant pharmacist.
Med-Pass has a variety of forms, educational resources and other tools for home health agencies and those who serve these agencies.
Read related The Consultant Pharmacist journal articles