Home health care offers a variety of services including nursing and therapy.
Florida Home Health Care
Florida home health care makes it possible for individuals to remain in their homes versus going into a group home, a long-term care facility or an institutionalized setting. According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Florida home health care providers can include both companies and independent health care professionals. There are various types of home health care providers that are licensed or registered by the AHCA. These licensed providers offer services to individuals in their homes. Individuals may want to talk with their doctor, family members and with more than one provider to see who might best meet their needs.
Home Health Care Options in Florida
The AHCA notes that home health agencies in Florida exist to provide nursing care; physical, speech, occupational, respiratory and IV therapy; home health aide and homemaker/companion services; home medical equipment; nutritional guidance; and medical social services in an individual's home or place of residence.
Individuals may have unique needs, which might be met in a number of ways. The AHCA suggests that there are various health care options to consider, which include these types of services:
- Homemaker/Companion Service -- Services offered include housekeeping, meals, and shopping and other trips outside of the home. Companies that provide these services must be registered with the Agency for Health Care Administration.
- Home Medical Equipment Providers -- Home medical equipment providers rent or sell home medical equipment, which includes oxygen or respiratory equipment.
- Hospices -- Hospices provide a variety of different services to those who are terminally ill and to their families. This includes providing nursing and physician care, social work, pastoral services and various types of counseling, among other services.
- Nurse Registries -- Nurse registries help to provide nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs), home health aides or homemakers/companions to individuals in their homes.
Some Health Care Options Unique to Florida
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has established the following websites to help Florida residents be well-informed health care consumers:
- FloridaHealthFinder provides search tools to compare short-term acute care hospitals, ambulatory (outpatient) surgery centers, health plans and nursing homes. The site includes the A.D.A.M. Health Encyclopedia with thousands of articles and illustrations. It also provides a list of health care facilities; information about insurance, medications, seniors, medical conditions and resources for medical care; a variety of consumer publications; information for health care professionals; and much more.
- MyFloridaRx provides pricing information for the top most commonly used prescription drugs in Florida.
- ACHA MyFlorida includes information on health care facility regulation and licensing, the Florida Medicaid program, managed care (HMOs) and other topics related to the Agency for Health Care Administration.
How Does Florida Regulate Home Health Care
Florida is a licensure state. This means that the state requires different levels of licensing depending on the services that are performed. The state licensing authority is the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). The Florida Board of Medicines offers more information on licensing.
The AHCA is the main health policy and planning entity for the entire state. It licenses and regulates health care facilities and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) across the state.
Florida laws help to govern the requirements of home health care agencies that serve patients who need skilled services. Skilled services are those that are provided by a nurse or by a physical, speech, occupational or respiratory therapist.
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