Skip to Content
VNS Health Logo

How to Get Care from VNS Health

VNS Health team member standing and a patient sitting with both smiling

When you need in-home care, whether that’s for senior care for a parent, help post-surgery getting back on your feet, or hospice care at home, you can count on VNS Health.

Finding the right care can be overwhelming. If you know you need help but aren’t sure what that is, contact us. We’re here for you, every step of the way.

How to Get Home Care

Home care, sometimes called home health care, requires a medical referral.

What are examples of home care?

Home care is considered medically necessary. It is usually short-term, and it’s usually covered by insurance throughout your recovery. Your health care provider will work with VNS Health to develop a care plan. Home care is provided by a nurse, rehab therapist, or licensed social worker and may include:

Home health aide services may be part of the plan if you are unable to bathe or prepare meals during your recovery.

Did you know that you can still get the help you need while you’re working with your doctor to set up home care? Personal care services from VNS Health can bridge the gap.

What’s the first step in getting home care?

Because home care requires a referral, the first step in starting care is to speak with your doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other health care provider. Your provider can learn more about referring to home care, including eligibility, or fill out a referral form. (Referral forms require a physician’s signature.)

How far in advance do I need to set up home care?

Because home care initiated by your provider, you don’t need to worry about setting up care. We work directly with them.

How does the admission process work?

If you are in the hospital, a discharge planner will visit you before you go home. They will explain what you need to know and make sure your transition home goes smoothly.

What should I expect when starting home care?

It’s important to know that your first visit will not be on the day you come home from the hospital. Before your first visit, someone from VNS Health will call to schedule or confirm the details. Your first visit may last 2 to 3 hours.

Read What to Expect at Your First Home Care Visit to learn more.

Contact VNS Health about starting home care.

How to Get Personal Care

Personal care services may be covered by long-term care insurance or a Medicaid Managed Long Term Care plan. Medicare and private insurance (such as through work) cover personal care when it is part of home care services — that is, when it medically necessary and has a referral. You can also pay for these services out of pocket (this is called private pay).

If you are receiving home care or hospice care from VNS Health, you can receive additional services by paying out of pocket. For example, if your insurance covers a home health aide for three days a week but you would like them to come five days, you can pay privately for the two days insurance does not cover. In many cases, you can have the same aide.

What are examples of personal care?

Usually, personal care services are from a home health aide. You can also hire a rehab therapist or nurse and pay out of pocket for care that’s outside of your care plan. For example, your home care plan may say that your nurse will visit every other day, but you require daily infusions. A private-duty nurse can assist on the days your home care nurse doesn’t visit. Other examples include:

  • Personal care (help bathing, getting dressed, etc.) from a home health aide, to avoid moving to a nursing home
  • Care for someone with dementia
  • Senior care
  • Round-the-clock private-duty nursing
  • Additional rehabilitation therapy
  • Geriatric care management
  • A health care escort after a procedure, when you need someone to meet you at discharge to get home safely
  • Care that extends what’s covered by insurance for home care or hospice care

Private-duty nursing or rehab therapy require a referral from your physician.

What’s the first step in getting personal care services?

Simply call 1-888-735-8913. We’ll ask you questions so we can help you determine the right services and level of care for your specific situation. We’ll also explain costs, and can help you figure out if you’re eligible for Medicaid Managed Long Term Care (MLTC).

If you are already enrolled in an MLTC plan, call 1-888-943-8435 to start care.

How far in advance do I need to set up personal care?

We can often arrange for care to start within 24 hours, though it’s helpful if you give us a few days’ notice.

How does the admission process work?

When you agree to start private pay services, we’ll assign a personal care supervisor to match you with the right VNS Health team member to meet your needs. The supervisor will then contact you to provide the name of the aide and answer any questions you may have.

What should I expect when starting personal care services?

All home health aides are supervised by a registered nurse. Your nurse will create a care plan that meets your needs and includes your preferences.

Contact VNS Health about starting personal care.

How to Get Hospice Care

Making the decision to start hospice care can be difficult. At VNS Health, we make it as easy as possible for you to get the information you need to make the best decision about your or your loved one’s care.

What are examples of hospice care services?

Hospice provides the right level of care needed as an illness becomes harder to treat — all from the comfort of home. Services include:

  • Medical care related to the terminal illness, including medications, equipment, and all visits from the hospice care team
  • Emotional support and spiritual care, such as addressing fears
  • Personal care, such as bathing and eating
  • Support for caregivers and family members, including help with difficult conversations and coping with loss

Hospice care may also provide services that are not part of regular home care. For example, Medicare’s hospice benefit covers the costs if your loved one wants to talk to a social worker or if you would like a dietitian to help you figure out the best foods for your loved one. Medicare does not cover these extra services with home care.

What’s the first step in starting hospice care at home?

Whether you’re ready to start hospice or you want to ask questions before you decide, call 1-212-609-1900. You’ll speak with a VNS Health intake coordinator, who will need to get some information from you. It’s OK if you don’t know all of the answers:

  • Who needs care? Do they live at home or in a nursing home or other facility?
  • What illness or disease do they have?
  • What is their care provider’s name?
  • What medications do they take? How often and at what doses?
  • Do they use medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank?
  • Do they have Medicare or other insurance? (It’s helpful if you have their insurance card available.)
  • Do they have advance directives, like a health care proxy or a do not resuscitate order?
  • Are they currently receiving home care services?

If you are in the hospital when you decide to start hospice care, you’ll meet with a hospice liaison.

How far in advance do I need to set up hospice care?

We can often arrange for care to start within 24 hours, though it’s helpful if you give us a few days’ notice.

Did you know that you can get additional help from VNS Health? Personal care services, including home health aides and round-the-clock nursing, are available.

How does the admission process work?

Before you can start hospice, VNS Health will need to:

  • Contact your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant to confirm eligibility (a physician must sign the hospice referral form)
  • Verify your insurance coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans fully cover hospice care)
  • Get your consent to start hospice care (the patient’s representative must sign if the patient is unable to)

What should I expect when starting hospice care?

The first hospice visit will be from a hospice admissions nurse. The nurse will do a full assessment of the patient, including taking vital signs and asking about their symptoms. Then they will explain in more detail what hospice includes and answer any questions. If you haven’t signed the consent forms, the admissions nurse will ask you to.

Depending on your needs, your next visit may be from a home health aide, a social worker, or the nurse who will be overseeing your care. At your first visit with the nurse, they will:

  • Set up a care plan and explain all of the services you will receive
  • Go over what each member of the care team does and work with you to schedule a time for you to meet them
  • Confirm medications
  • Make sure any necessary equipment and supplies have been ordered
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the care plan

You’ll also receive our Patient and Family Handbook. This handbook provides important information about caring for your loved one when they are on hospice and about what you should do in an emergency. You will be able to call VNS Health’s dedicated hospice care help line, which is available 24/7. When you call, you can talk to a hospice nurse and arrange for them to come as soon as possible if there is an emergency.

Remember that although the members of our care teams are experts on hospice care, you are the expert on your loved one. The hospice team will always respect your and your loved one’s wishes.

Contact VNS Health about starting hospice care.