The Difference between In-Home Care and Home Health

There are many people who don’t know the difference between Home Health and In-Home care. In reality, there are many differences. Home Health is specifically designed to assist patients that are ill with a chronic condition like heart failure, recovery from a surgery or another acute health condition. Home health allows patients to discharge earlier from the hospital, assists with faster recovery and reduces hospital admissions. Home Health consists of physicians, nurses, home health aides, certified nursing assistants, physical, speech and occupational therapists. They provide a variety of services from catheter care, injections, IV transfusions, tracheotomy care, post-op rehab, diabetes management, etc.  Home health visits are typically scheduled a few times a week with different disciplines of the Home Health Team.  Home health is billed to Medicare or other insurance.

In home care, is a form of care that allows people to age in place at home by offering a variety of services including homemaker and custodial services, companionship, transportation to appointments, bathing and grooming and in some cases (if the in home care agency is licensed at the comprehensive level) provide medication management under the delegation of a RN.  In home care agencies typically employ registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, caregivers and care managers. This type of service helps prevent negative outcomes for people by reducing the likelihood of falls, malnutrition, and may enable them to stay in their home versus moving to a higher level of care.  In-Home Care visits are one to one care that can fulfill up to 24 hours of service per day depending on client needs/requests. In Home Care is almost always private pay, however, for qualified individuals they may be able to bill to insurance.

Home Health Care and In Home Care can work with a patient/client as separate entities or together in collaboration that meets each patient’s individual needs. Even though they provide different services they serve the same goal of meeting you where you are, at home.


Article Provided by Megan Thompson, Director of Home Care Services

Mary’s Woods Home Care Services 503-697-6434

This article can also be found in the Retirement Connection guide on page 34 next to our ad.