Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Home Care vs. Private Duty, what is the difference?
Jessica Mays, RN
Porter Hills Home Care
Click here to watch the WZZM13 Senior Wellness segment on this topic!
Most people do not fully understand what home care is, let alone the difference between home care and private duty. Both utilize some of the same services but the key differences are the payer source and qualifications.
Certified Home Care
Home care, or certified home care services, are skilled services that are provided on an intermittent basis in the home for someone who has reduced mobility, or struggles leaving home. Skilled services include: nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and a bath aide. In order to qualify for these services, you will need an order from your doctor, have a face to face encounter with your doctor 90 days prior to starting home care or within 30 days after starting home care, have a need for intermittent skilled care and it is a taxing effort to leave your home. If you meet these conditions, skilled home care is covered by your health insurance.
Skilled home care can be ordered from the hospital, rehab center or your doctor’s office. There is no requirement for a hospital stay to be able to utilize home care services. Some examples for needing home care are: a recent surgery, wound care, disease and pain management, I.V. antibiotics, mental health services and more.
Private duty services, also known as personal care services are paid for out of pocket and do not require a doctor’s order. The care is assistance provided in the home or outside of the home. Services can range from basic companionship, housekeeping, meal preparation, to a nurse providing various services such as medication set up. Private duty aides can also assist with an exercise program, grocery shopping, and transporting to and from appointments. Typically, private duty services require a minimum of 2 hours each time the aide goes out but can go as long as 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hiring a Caregiver
According to caregiver.com it is better to hire an agency for private duty services due to legalities. As a private employer, the individual or family is required to pay Social Security, unemployment, worker’s compensation, and payroll taxes. There is also a concern if the aide is injured caring for your loved one and doesn’t have liability insurance. If you hire through an agency, all that is covered, leaving you worry free.