There is a difference between the emphases each industry has. Hospice focuses on the quality of life and patient comfort. Hospice has the experience and specialization in pain and symptom management as well as support services providing counseling and education. Home health generally focuses on patient rehabilitation and traditional medical management.
Hospice covers medications related to the terminal illness and symptoms, where home health usually does not cover medications. Hospice covers usual and customary medical supplies and equipment such as; beds, commodes, walkers, wheelchairs etc. where home health usually have to qualify for the equipment and supplies. In hospice care the patient does not have to be home bound, where in home health the patient must be home bound.
The focus and care planning is usually focused on:
Hospice focus is on the patient and the family and their needs. The plan of care is focused on provided care to the patient and family knowing that as time goes forward the needs they have will always increase as death comes closer. Home health focus is taking a patient with high needs and reducing those needs until they recover from the illness or accident. Other traditional medical providers follow the same approach to care as the home health.
Hospice care is often misunderstood in the medical community because of this kind of approach. Many medical professionals, outside of hospice, will only focus on the physical needs a patient has, “getting them out of pain,” claiming they delivered successful care. Studies have proven that even though physical issues are important to the patient and family, traditional medicine does not address the emotional, social, and spiritual needs that not only the patient has, but their family and friends have also. The number one fear patients and families have relating to an end-of-life experience is that of being alone. Hospice puts great emphasis on not only the physical, but the emotional, social, and spiritual needs the patient and family have.