Home Health Agencies
Home health agencies provide health care services to ill, disabled or vulnerable individuals in their homes or places of residence, enabling them to live as independently as possible.
All home health agencies in Pennsylvania are licensed by the Department of Health to provide care within the minimum health and safety standards established by rules and regulations. The department enforces the standards by conducting initial and periodic, unannounced state licensure surveys of these agencies.
Medicare may pay for services provided by home health agencies that voluntarily seek and are approved for certification by the Federal Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services contracts with the department to evaluate compliance with the federal home health regulations by conducting an initial federal certification survey and periodic, unannounced certification surveys of these agencies in addition to their state licensure surveys.
Medicare-certified home health agencies are required to conduct comprehensive assessments of all patients (initially and at regularly scheduled intervals), and participate in the federal program Outcome Assessment Information Set (OASIS). The home health agencies electronically submit OASIS health information on Medicare patients to measure patient outcomes for quality improvement.