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Three Types of Home Based Care

Today’s seniors and adults with disabilities may encounter three types of home-based care:

Home Health

Medicare-funded home health is provided when a physician orders skilled care, including nursing, physical, occupational or speech therapy, or assistance by a home health aide, to individuals who are homebound and need medical care. This care usually lasts less than 60 days.

Non-Medical Homecare

Non-medical homecare provides assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing. This continuous care may be paid for by Medicaid if a person meets certain income and functional eligibility rules. However, most is paid for privately or through a long-term-care insurance policy.


Hospice, or end-of-life care, brings together medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support for terminal patients and their families. This is covered by Medicare and Medicaid for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less. 

All three types of providers are licensed by the Department of Health in Pennsylvania, and are surveyed regularly to ensure quality. The department maintains a complaint hotline,  where consumers can report concerns or issues.

Department of Health Complaint Hotline:



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