For many seniors or people with disabilities who need nursing or medical care services, receiving care at home can be a more self-directed and comfortable alternative to living in a nursing home. Home health care programs are specialized long-term care programs, funded by Medicaid, that are specifically designed to assist eligible elderly or disabled individuals in staying safely in their own homes rather than being relocated to a nursing home. Although eligibility requirements vary by program, all home health care programs require that applicants be eligible for Medicaid.
This article provides a brief overview of the different options for home care, their eligibility and the application process.
What is home health care?
According to the New York State Department of Health (DOH), home care refers to health services that are delivered in a patient’s own home, aimed at improving, maintaining, or restoring their health, or mitigating the impact of illness and disability. This may involve a range of services, such as nursing care, speech, physical and occupational therapies, personal care and home health aide services.
- Personal Care (Medicaid-Funded Home Care) entails home attendant and housekeeping services for individuals who have difficulty with one or more activities of daily living. To be eligible for this service, individuals must meet Medicaid requirements and be exempt from Managed Long-Term Care or Managed Care. In addition to Personal Care services, there is also a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program available.
- Managed Long-Term Care Program offers case management, nursing, home health aides, home attendant services, and physical therapists to individuals who are eligible for Medicaid, or eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, and are medically qualified for long-term care services. Please visit the NYS DOH for more information.
- Assisted Living Program is a state-administered program that provides long-term residential care. Further details on this program can be found on official state websites.
- Long Term Home Health Care Program is a plan of medical, nursing, and rehabilitative care provided at home to individuals who are medically eligible for nursing home placement. These individuals must have care costs that are lower than the nursing home cost in their local county. Those who wish to access this program can do so through a hospital discharge planner, HCSP, or a Long Term Home Health Care Provider.
The Home Care Services Program is overseen by HRA’s Office of Special Services. If you need help, you can contact Infoline at 718-557-1399 or visit your local Home Care CASA Office.
For further details regarding Customized Assistance Services, please visit CUCS.org.
How to apply for home health care
You can check to see if you qualify for certain types of long-term home care through the Access NYC website. These programs serve children as well as adults, in addition to providing emergency home care.
By taking a short survey and filling out your basic information, including personal income, expenses, zip code and family size, you can see which home care services you are eligible to apply.
If eligible, you can apply for the service by phone or in person.
How you apply for home care programs depends on your needs. Visit a Home Care Community Alternative Systems Agency (CASA) office to find out how to apply to a program right for you and your family.
Besides getting long-term care at home, you can also access these services in community-based settings like senior centers, community centers or day care, in residential settings like assisted living facilities, and in nursing homes.
If you would like to find out if you are eligible for the program and get additional information, you can visit this website to talk to the staff at the state-funded NY Connects program. They can screen you for eligibility, connect you with agencies that provide caregivers, provide home care referrals, and guide you to financial and legal information. NY Connects is available to children and adults of all ages, regardless of disability diagnosis, income level or insurance.
More ways to get help:
New York State Office: 800-342-9871
New York City borough offices:
Staten Island: 718-489-3954
If you experience hearing loss, you may call the NY Relay System at 711.
How to check the qualification of service providers
It’s important to note that the New York State Public Health Law mandates that any organization offering home care services or arranging for them in New York State must hold a license or certification as a home care agency from the NYS DOH.
You can check the websites below to see if a home care service provider is qualified.
- Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) provide part-time, intermittent health care and support services to people who need intermediate and skilled health care. To verify if a service provider is qualified, please enter their name in the “Search by Name” dialog box located in the upper right corner of this webpage.
- Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs) offer home care services to people who pay out of pocket (with their own funds) or have private insurance coverage. To verify if a service provider is qualified, please enter their name in the “Search by Name” dialog box located in the upper right corner of this webpage.
- Please visit the Home Health and Hospice Profiles for information on specific Certified Home Health Agencies and Licensed Home Care Service Agencies, including available quality measures.
- The Home Care Registry provides limited information about individual Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides that have successfully completed state-approved training programs. To access the Home Care Registry, please visit this page.
How to file a complaint
The Division of Home and Community Based Care, under the NYS DOH, is responsible for investigating complaints and incidents related to home care agencies and hospices within the state.
You can contact the federally mandated Home Health Hotline at 800-628-5972, which is available 24/7.
However, the hotline is only manned from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on weekdays.
You may also submit complaints and incidents via fax at 518-408-5309 or through mail at:
Division of Home and Community Based Services
875 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
You may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide details about the nature of the complaint and optionally, your name, contact number, and email address to facilitate prompt follow-up on the matter.