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What is the difference between In-home Primary Care and home health care?
January 11, 2021 at 10:30 PM
Learning the difference between home health care and in home primary care can effect your ongoing health coverage.

People often throw around terms surrounding health care without clarifying their meaning. It makes it hard to advocate for your health care coverage effectively. You want to know what providers are offering while communicating your needs. That’s why we’re addressing the difference between home health care and in-home primary care.

One common misconception is that these two terms are interchangeable and describe the same kind of health care services. They’re vastly different levels of care, which is why it’s critical to understand the difference when you’re deciding on a primary care provider.

What is home health care?

First, we’ll address home health care, a term that frequently appears when discussing senior health and wellness services. Home health care is intermittent, although the length of care may range from long to short term, for a wide range of medical needs such as:

  • Wound care or recovery from an injury.
  • Nutritional therapy and administering injections and IV medications.
  • Monitoring of severe injuries and chronic illness.

It’s like the follow-up care you would receive in a hospital, but in the comfort of your own home. A medical professional comes to help you for a defined period to help you re-establish independence.

Home health care workers are medical professionals who perform routine tasks in your home that might include:

  • Taking your vital statistics, such as pulse, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • Monitor your pain, or administer medications for your pain.
  • Follow up with what you’re eating and drinking.
  • Coordinate your ongoing care with your primary care physician.

These skilled healthcare workers are not doctors, but nurses and physical, occupational, or speech therapists who don’t prescribe medication or treatment or diagnose diseases.

What is in-home primary care?

In-home primary care, also called home-based primary care (HBPC), is like a modern-day house call–the same kind doctors used to do. It’s only similar to "home health care" because it takes place in the comfort of your home. Unlike home health care, in-home primary care is ongoing care administered by a doctor, or team of health professionals, saving you unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office. Some benefits of in-home or home-based primary care include:

  • Preempt emergency room visits and unnecessary hospitalizations when conditions worsen.
  • Provide disease-specific care for chronic conditions.
  • Administer primary care to those unable to travel to a doctor’s office or hospital.

The team of medical professionals providing in-home primary care is led by a doctor and may include nurses, physician’s assistants, pharmacists, and EMTs. They can diagnose illnesses, treat symptoms, and prescribe medications.

Some patients may pair dedicated in-home primary care with simple home health care services as part of their overall health and wellness program. Home-based primary care providers, like Common Health, offer several key benefits to their members:

  • Simplicity: by providing a suite of care options, including in-home visits, clinics, and telemedicine, members have various scalable pathways for receiving care.
  • Convenience: with 24-hour care providers available to answer questions, issue prescriptions, and provide support, getting treatment has never been more convenient.

Because primary care members can get prompt, dedicated care when they need it, their overall health improves. You never have to wait for a doctor’s appointment before receiving a diagnosis or treatment.

For more information on in-home primary care, get in touch with Common Health.

As people age, standardized primary care no longer fits their needs. Some health concerns require emergent care but don’t necessitate a trip to the ER–that’s where an in-home primary care doctor can help. Common Health provides a suite of services to address chronic and acute conditions in clinics, at home, and virtually. Our members enjoy uncomplicated health care that does more for them.

When you join Common Health, your comfort dictates the response from our 24/7 care teams, with in-home visits and telemedicine. If you’re ready to transform your primary care experience, call us at (877) 465–4494 or fill out our online form.