What to Expect from Home Health Care

For those who are new to home care, there are a lot of things that you may want to know. To start, your doctor must certify that you meet the eligibility requirements for home health before services can begin. For those who qualify, MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) will initiate services within 1-2 days after returning home from the hospital or rehabilitation facility.

Meet Your Home Care Team

For more information about your home care team, visit this page.

What to Expect

Watch this video to learn more about the home healthcare services MedStar VNA provides and how one may qualify for home care.

During your first visit, the nurse or therapist will share a lot of information with you. They will also make sure the information we have about you is correct. The first visit may take up to two hours. The homecare nurse or therapist will talk about:

  • Your discharge paperwork and/or doctor’s orders
  • Your role as a patient/caregiver, including payment responsibilities
  • Your “Plan of Care”, including the services you will receive and how often team members will visit
  • Your goal for homecare
  • Your medicines, including side effects and how and when to take them
  • Your risk for falling
  • How to contact the office with questions or concerns

The average visit lasts less than an hour. You can expect things like:

  • Checking your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and breathing.
  • Making sure you understand the purpose of your medicines. We will teach you about the side effects and how and when to take your medicines on a schedule.
  • Teaching you or your caregiver to care for a wound or IV.
  • Creating an exercise plan to build your strength and improve balance/walking.
  • Teaching you how to control the symptoms of your ailments.

Your specific needs and your insurance coverage will help to determine how often homecare team members visit you. The number of visits scheduled depends on your specific needs. Homecare professionals visit patients an average of two to three times a week. Visits will happen less often as you improve.

A homecare team member will try to call you on the evening before to schedule a visit for the next day. However, sometimes they may not be able to call until the morning of the visit. We are sorry when we cannot offer more notice. We get new patients added to the schedule every day. Sometimes, they are very sick and require urgent visits. This causes homecare team members’ schedules to change. They will tell you an estimated time when they will arrive. Please answer your phone and return our calls. If we cannot reach you by phone, we cannot visit.

At MedStar VNA we understand the importance of building trust with your homecare team. That is why we try our best to schedule the same clinical professionals to visit your home every time. Changes in time of day, day of week, and after-hours may impact our ability to schedule the same nurse or therapist.

We will do our best to give you the nurse, therapist or aide that you request. There may be times when we will not be able to meet requests for specific people. This is often due to an employee's work hours, vacations or a shortage of team members. We also understand that some patients prefer a male or female homecare provider. Please let us know if you have a preference.

The doctor provides MedStar VNA with orders that describe your care needs. We communicate with your doctor regularly and notify him/her if there are any changes in your condition. The homecare professionals will communicate regularly with you, your doctor and each other to ensure your needs are met.

To learn more about home health care, read our Home Health Care FAQs

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To find out more about our home healthcare services, call:


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