Heal at Home


Recovering after a surgery or illness can be more comfortable and convenient with home health care. For many, home health services may be less expensive and just as effective as the care they would receive in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

What types of care do home health services provide?

“Home care services is an umbrella term that includes several different types of care provided in a patient’s home,” said Cheryl Mitchell, BSN, RN, Director of Penn Highlands Healthcare at Home. “This can range from short-term medical care to personal aides and companionship for seniors.”

Home health services falls under this umbrella and can vary widely depending on the patient’s needs, but in general, home health services may include the following:

  • Short-term skilled nursing and therapy that helps patients recover from surgery, a severe illness or treatment for a medical condition. Home health care providers often include skilled nurses; physical, occupational and speech therapists; social workers; and home health aides. There are many types of helpful services under home health. Talk to your care provider regarding the type of care you require to help you heal and recover at home.
  • Palliative care is support for people with a complex or chronic disease. Palliative care often addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients, families and caregivers to help achieve the highest quality of life possible.

What are the benefits of home health services?

One of the greatest benefits of home health services is the personalized care that can be provided in a one-on-one setting. Home health care professionals have special insight into the needs of you and your caregivers, and they can provide you with support that’s focused on your unique condition and overall well-being. They can also help ease the burden of caregivers by bringing medical care, medication management, rehabilitation therapy and other services directly to the home.

Who is a good candidate for home health services?

“Patients who no longer need to be in the hospital but still need professional medical care, teaching and assessment,” said Ms. Mitchell. “Some home health patients have chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes or lung disease that require ongoing changes in their plan of care. Others may need short-term care for surgical incisions, wounds or help with medication or nutritional infusion.”

How much do home health services cost?

The cost of home health care depends on the services provided, length of service and type of health insurance. If home health services are needed to recover from a hospital stay, surgery or chronic illness on a short-term basis, it is often covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. The home health agency should help you understand costs, what insurance will cover and payment options.

Penn Highlands Healthcare at Home provides skilled nursing, in-home rehabilitation services such as physical therapy, and other types of medical care to individuals returning from home after a hospital stay or surgery. Penn Highlands Home Health Care’s award-winning services help you or your loved one heal safely at home. For more information, visit www.phhealthcare.org/homehealth.