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8 Home Healthcare Myths Busted

March 7, 2023

March 7, 2023

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Society has painted a picture of home healthcare that most people have come to believe: It’s a benefit reserved almost exclusively for the very sick and very old. Because this myth persists, many of those reasonable people are reticent to explore home healthcare options that could help them live a more satisfying and comfortable life.

Others avoid home healthcare because they believe it is expensive and, therefore, exclusive. Or they think home healthcare providers won’t administer the same level of care a physician’s office or a loved one would.

The longer these myths persist, the less chance patients who could benefit from home healthcare take advantage of the opportunity. That’s why we’re taking time to bust some common home healthcare myths and get you one step closer to receiving all the home care services you’ve already earned as a nuclear defense worker covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

Are you ready?

MYTH #1: Home care is only for patients who are seriously ill.

FACT: Receiving home healthcare depends on your need, not the stage of your illness.

Patients with a temporary illness, as well as those who suffer from a chronic disease, often benefit from home healthcare services.

Former Department of Energy workers who qualify for the Department of Labor’s medical white card and have been diagnosed with an illness associated with their work on a nuclear site or in the uranium mining industry can receive free home healthcare as a benefit.

Many medical white card holders are not seriously ill when they first take advantage of home healthcare services. They do so to establish a relationship with the healthcare professionals while their needs are still modest, who will take care of them as time goes by. Building that relationship early helps a caregiver understand a patient’s specific needs and closely follow that individual healthcare journey.

MYTH #2: Patients who qualify for home care are almost always homebound.

FACT: You don’t need to be homebound to receive care.

While a homebound diagnosis is necessary to receive home healthcare through Medicare, there are other ways someone might receive benefits without the homebound requirement. If you have a U.S. DOL white medical benefits card, for example, home healthcare is a benefit accessible to you…and it’s totally free!

MYTH #3: Family members cannot act as a worker’s home care provider.     

FACT: If a family member is qualified and the worker’s condition supports the need for care, family members can often serve as home care providers – and get paid to do so.

There are a significant number of family members providing care to loved ones who also receive care and support from Professional Case Management (PCM), the first EEOICPA-enrolled home care provider. PCM backs up family members with a Registered Nurse Case Manager who handles illness treatment, medication management, and who reports on and recommends updates to you and your doctor based on your changing needs.

MYTH #4: Home healthcare benefits from independent providers, like PCM, are the same home healthcare benefits Medicare provides.

FACT: While there are similarities, there are significant differences as well – including Medicare’s homebound requirement.

As we noted earlier, in order to receive home care through Medicare, you must be homebound. If you are a U.S. DOL white medical benefits card holder, there is no homebound requirement to receive help through providers like PCM. White card holders are able to access other benefits, as well, including access to oncologists, pulmonologists, and other healthcare specialists – all completely free with no copays or deductibles.

When you choose PCM as your home healthcare provider, we’ll make sure you understand all the benefits available to you through our Cold War Patriots Help Center. We’ll also make sure you’re taking advantage of those benefits. That’s why PCM created its Cold War Patriots division solely to educate workers and their families and guide them so they can maximize all the EEOICPA benefits they have earned.

MYTH #5: Independent home healthcare providers share patient information with other healthcare organizations.

FACT: Private home healthcare organizations are subject to the same HIPAA rules as any other healthcare provider.

We are proud of our HIPAA compliance because it allows our patients to rest assured that their private healthcare information remains private.

MYTH #6: Only a doctor connected with PCM can approve my home care.

FACT: Physicians that work outside the PCM network can sign orders for your home care.

PCM can also communicate with your primary care physician or disease specialist to help facilitate the process.

MYTH #7: Home healthcare requirements will limit my personal independence.     

FACT: Home healthcare providers like PCM strive to help you maintain your independence while getting you the care you need.

Many home healthcare patients lead normal lives outside their house. It may take more effort than it once did, however, and there may be periods when someone limits activity away from home. But home care providers like PCM understand this and will tailor home care to an individual’s specific needs.

Care will always depend on your specific medical needs. You may require only periodic visits to monitor your vitals, or you may need 24/7 nursing care. Some workers require assistance with dressing. Others want help with cooking or light housekeeping.

We believe patients who receive treatment in-home are more comfortable and feel safer and in greater control of their healthcare journey. That’s another reason PCM tailors home care to your specific needs. We want you to continue living your best life at home without interruptions.

MYTH #8: My doctor won’t have the information necessary to approve home healthcare services through the Department of Labor. 

FACT: EEOICPA-enrolled providers, like PCM, specialize in caring for white medical benefits card patients, so they can guide both you and your doctor through the process.

If needed, we’ll help you establish a relationship with a Department of Labor-enrolled physician who can write care orders for your DOL-related needs and coordinate with your regular physician for illnesses not covered under EEOICPA. This allows you to maintain your current physician relationships.

Ready to learn more about how you can qualify for and benefit from home care? Contact our Outreach Help Center today by calling (888) 903-8989.