Part of Lamercie Health Care’s plan to fulfill its mission and vision is to educate its communities. Below are some frequently asked questions.

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Frequently Asked Questions

Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) are types of person-centered care delivered in the home and community. A variety of health and human services can be provided. HCBS programs address the needs of people with functional limitations who need assistance with everyday activities, like getting dressed or bathing. HCBS are often designed to enable people to stay in their homes, rather than moving to a facility for care.

HCBS programs generally fall into two categories: health services and human services. HCBS programs may offer a combination of both types of services and do not necessarily offer all services from either category.

HCBS program’s Health Services support medical needs. They include:

  • Home health care, such as:
    • Skilled nursing care
    • Therapies: Occupational, speech, and physical
    • Dietary management by registered dietitian
  • Pharmacy
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Case management
  • Personal care
  • Caregiver and client training
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Hospice care (comfort care for patients likely to die from their medical conditions)

HCBS program’s Human Services support daily living. They include:

  • Senior centers
  • Adult Day Care
  • Congregate meal sites
  • Home-delivered meal programs
  • Personal care (dressing, bathing, toileting,eating, transferring to or from a bed or chair, etc.)
  • Transportation and access
  • Home repairs and modifications
  • Home safety assessments
  • Homemaker and chore services
  • Information and referral services
  • Financial services
  • Legal services, such as help preparing a will
  • Telephone reassurance

The purpose of the Medicaid Long-term Care Waiver is to provide services to eligible individuals age 18 or older who need long-term services and supports. The Long-term Care Waiver is designed to delay or prevent institutionalization and allow waiver recipients to maintain stable health while receiving services at home and in the community. Individuals in the program may also be served in a nursing facility setting.

Medicaid reimburses for over two dozen home and community-based services and nursing facility services through this program.

The Long-term Care Waiver is a capitated, managed care program. It is offered by Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-term Care plans and Managed Medical Assistance Comprehensive plans.

There are a variety of long-term care options available:

    • Home Health Care
    • Homemaker Services
    • Companion Services
    • Adult Day Care
    • Adult Day Health Care
    • Senior Centers
    • Respite Care
    • Residential Assisted Living Facilities
    • Assisted Living Facilities
    • Adult Family Care Homes
    • Nursing Homes

For more information on these options and more, please see informational videos below. Click here for our disclaimer.

Adult Family Care Home (AFCH)

Frequently Asked Questions

Adult family care homes (AFCHs) are private residences that are licensed to provide housing, meals, and personal care services for up to five (5) older persons and disabled adults who are unable to live independently. Unlike assisted living facilities, AFCHs are owned and operated by licensed AFCH “providers” who live with the residents they serve. AFCHs are intended to be a less costly alternative to more restrictive, institutional settings for individuals who do not need 24-hour nursing supervision.

To reside in an AFCH, a person must meet specific residency criteria, which is defined by Florida regulations and by the provider’s admission policy. In most cases, AFCHs provide general supervision, assistance with personal care services, and assistance with medications. Admission criteria include:

    • (a) Be at least 18 years old.
    • (b) Be free from apparent signs and symptoms of any communicable disease.
    • (c) Be capable of self-preservation in an emergency situation involving the immediate evacuation of the home.
    • (d) Be able to perform, with supervision or assistance, activities of daily living.
    • (e) Not be a danger to self or others. (f) Not require licensed professional mental health treatment on a 24-hour a day basis.
    • (g) Not have special dietary needs which cannot be met by the provider.
    • (h) Not be bedridden.
    • (i) Not have stage 3 or 4 pressure sores.


While AFCHs generally cost less than other residential care facilities, the cost of an AFCH can vary based on the location, residential unit size, amenities, and services provided by the AFCH. Although many residents living in AFCHs pay privately, there are programs designed to assist with AFCH residency for persons who qualify. All licensed AFCHs are required to designate at least one bed for a resident receiving Optional State Supplementation.

To find a list of Florida AFCHs and other types of facilities and services near you, please visit FloridaHealthFinder.gov.

Homemaker and companion services (HCS)

Frequently Asked Questions

A homemaker does general household chores that include housekeeping, cooking, shopping assistance, laundry, and other routine household tasks. Companions provide clients with meaningful relationships by visiting and spending time at their home or accompanying them to appointments or other outings. 

Since homemaker and companion services relate to household chores and companionship services only, Mercie’s Companion Services does not provide any hands-on personal care to a client. Personal care refers to activities such as providing assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, or personal hygiene. Personal care also refers to assistance in physical transfer, ambulation, or administering medication, including oxygen. In the client’s home, these activities are reserved for licensed home health agencies.

Medicare does not cover homemaker or companion services. For Medicaid coverage, contact the Medicaid managed care plan for your county.

No. It can also be for adults that are disabled.

Homemaker and Companion Services cannot serve children. Contact the Department of Children and Family Services Customer Call Center (866) 762-2237 for information on programs for children or go to their web site, www.myflfamilies.com.

Homemaker and Companion Services are non-medical services that can be provided in the client’s home, assisted living facility, or nursing home.

Home health agencies and homemaker and companion services are two different solutions to assist the disabled and older adults.

Florida is a licensure state that requires different forms of licenses or registrations-  depending on the type of activity and the type of service being provided. Florida issues a license to a home health agency and issues a registration to a homemaker and companion service.

Home health agencies are licensed to provide personal care that assists in activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, mobility assistance), and medical care often referred to as “skilled” care because a person providing care must have special training and expertise to perform the service being provided. Services home health agencies provide include nursing services such as administration of medication (including IVs and injections), monitoring of vital signs, wound care, etc. Other examples of skilled services include physical, occupational, or speech therapies performed by a qualified therapist.

Homemaker and companion services, on the other hand, provide non-medical, non-skilled care. Homemaker and companion services are prohibited by Florida law from providing any hands-on personal care under its registration issued by state. Homemaker and companion services are limited to providing housekeeping, chores, errands, cooking, companionship, and other non-personal care.

To find a list of Florida Homemaker and Companion Service providers and other types of facilities and services near you, please visit FloridaHealthFinder.gov.