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December 11, 2017 10 Things

10 Things I Know About... Owning a home healthcare business

Milka Njoroge is CEO and administrator of Worcester home healthcare agency Century Homecare.

10) What is home health care? A wide range of skilled health care services provided by healthcare professionals in one's home to treat an illness or an injury through Medicare-certified agencies.

9) Who are home health care workers? Nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, medical social workers and home aides

8) Who pays for services? Most medical insurances cover home health services. Medicare covers intermittent skilled nursing and therapy services for homebound patients while Medicaid (MassHealth) covers management of chronic medical conditions.

7) Who regulates home health care? Home health care is highly regulated by multiple entities including Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Department of Public Health, and payers.

6) Who receives home health care? People of all ages with acute and chronic care needs.

5) What is the future of home health care? There is an increased need to provide low-cost, effective and efficient patient-centered care in a more familiar and intimate setting.

4) What challenges face home health care? Need to adapt to evolving Medicare and Medicaid payment models, keeping abreast of regulatory requirements and maintaining a skilled workforce.

3) What investments are needed in home health industry? A need to invest in technologies to increase efficiency and in training homecare workers who can provide specialized services at home.

2) What do clinicians say about home health care? It fills a void, and the care provided is very personal. You see patients at their best and their worst.

1) Why work in home health care? It is the joy of seeing families together, the satisfaction of seeing patients back on their feet, the courage patients have to open their doors to strangers and accept care from them. Those are some things that keep me focused on the mission despite some day-to-day challenges.

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