Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a guide for determining if someone is considered homebound?

Patient is Considered Homebound Status

  • Unable to leave home without maximum assistance and/or effort
  • Unable to ambulate
  • Unsteady gait with assistive device
  • Unable to negotiate stairs; requires the assistance of one to two people to ambulate
  • Requires an assistive device to ambulate
  • Poor ambulation – prone to falls
  • Post-operation weakness
  • Severe dyspnea on exertion
  • Difficult and taxing effort to leave home
  • Medical restrictions – open draining wound, leg elevated at all times
  • Severe dizziness
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Compromised mental status

 Absences that DO NOT Affect Patient’s Homebound Status

  • Absence from home to receive healthcare treatment
  • Absence for purpose of attending a religious service
  • Occasional absences for non-medical reasons, i.e. family reunion, funeral, graduation, wedding

Absences that DISQUALIFY Patient’s Homebound Status

  • Leaving home against medical advice
  • Leaving home for business purposes, work or attendance at school
  • Leaving home frequently for non-medical reasons even if it requires difficult or taxing effort
  • Leaving home several times a week (routinely) to go out for a meal 

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

Both palliative and hospice care focus on a comprehensive approach to care, including help with pain and symptom management, nutritional needs, personal, emotional and spiritual well-being. 

However, hospice care is appropriate when a patient’s life expectancy is about six months and the focus is to seek quality of life and provide emotional support for the patient’s family and caregivers.  

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