Home Health Care Glossary

This glossary is to help our home health care community better understand the terms used in relation to care. Please book mark this page for future reference or download our printable version HERE.

Palliative care Any treatment or medical care focused on reducing symptoms of a disease, rather than curing the disease itself. The goal is to improve the quality of life for those with serious, complex illnesses.
Para-transit services Para-transit services are specialized transportation for seniors and other people with disabilities. These services may offer transportation to senior centers, medical care, shopping malls, or specific appointments.
Parkinson's Disease Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects more than one million Americans. Individuals with PD lack a substance called dopamine, which is important in the central nervous system’s control of muscle activity. PD is often characterized by
  • Tremors
  • Stiffness in limbs and joints
  • Speech impediments
  • Difficulty in initiating physical movement
Late in the course of the disease, some individuals develop dementia and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. Medications such as levodopa, which prevents degeneration of dopamine, are used to improve diminished motor symptoms in PD patients but do not correct the mental changes that it causes.
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research This is research that compares different medical treatments and interventions to provide evidence on which strategies are most effective in different populations and situations. The goal is to empower patients and health care teams with additional information to make sound healthcare decisions.
Payor The person or entity responsible for paying for home health care services rendered is a payor. Examples include an insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid, or a state-sponsored program.
Pediatrics Pediatrics is a BAYADA specialty practice that includes nursing, therapeutic, and assistive home health care services for children under the age of 18. These services are provided by nurses and home health aides who are experts in caring for children from newborns to adolescents, including those requiring complex, high-tech care.
Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) PERS is an electronic device that enables a person to contact help 24 hours a day simply by pressing a button.
Physical Therapy (PT) PT Is needed if a patient has suffered an injury or illness, which has affected motor skills or function. This may consist of evaluation, therapeutic exercises, gait training, adaptive equipment recommendations, massage, heat, and cold or electrical treatments. The service is geared toward helping the patient or client attain his/her maximum functional motor potential. Typically, this service is considered skilled care.
Plan of care Written doctor’s orders for home health services and treatments based on the patient’s condition. The plan of care is developed by the doctor, the home health team, and the patient. The home health team keeps the doctor up-to-date on the patient’s condition and updates the plan of care as needed. It is the doctor, and not the home health team, that authorizes what services are needed and for how long.
Point of Service (POS) Plans A type of plan in which you pay less if you use doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that belong to the health care insurance plan’s network.
Portability A person’s ability to keep his or her health coverage during times of change in health status or personal situation such as divorce, unemployment, or switching health plans.
Pre-authorization The process where the managed care or insurance company must provide approval before a patient can be admitted to the hospital or receive other types of specialty services.
Pre-existing condition A chronic health problem that is present prior to health coverage beginning.
Preventive services Preventive services are health care aimed to prevent or detect illness at an early stage, when treatment is likely to work best. Examples of these services include cancer screening or flu vaccination.
Private Pay Private pay means paying for home health care services out of pocket or without assistance from an insurance company or other payor source.
Provider A provider is an individual, facility, or institution that provides medical care. This may include a hospital, home health care agency, skilled nursing facility, or intensive care facility.