Choosing a Home Health Care Provider
Once you have made the decision that home health care services are right for you, choosing the right provider is your next big step. When choosing a home health care provider, there are several important questions to ask in order to confirm that you or your loved one will be receiving the highest quality of care.
About the Agency
How long has the home health agency been in business? If the agency has been in business for several years, it should have either a proven track record or a long list of complaints associated with their company.
Can the agency provide references? Ask for a list of doctors, hospital employees, or other health care professionals who have worked with the provider. You can also ask for a list of testimonials from former clients and their families.
Does the agency have a current license to operate in their state? This is a very important issue to investigate when choosing a home health care provider. Louisiana requires home health agencies to be licensed and regularly reviewed. In order for Medicare to pay for home health services the agnecy must be Medicar certified.
Does the home care agency create a personalized plan for each client? A home health agency that develops and maintains different plans for each patient displays their desire to meet each patient's specific needs. By providing individualized care plans, a home health care provider is less likely to overlook important aspects of the patient's needs.
About the Costs
How does the home health agency handle expenses and billing? Ask for printed documents explaining all services and fees as well as detailed explanations of all the costs associated with home health care.
Will the agency fees be covered by health insurance or Medicare? Find out what insurance plans the health care provider works with and the specific arrangements in place to cover the costs for each plan.
About the Services
Will you receive a copy of the written care plan? This documentation is important to help prevent any misunderstandings about the care being provided and should be updated frequently. A care plan should include details about the patient's specific health care needs and any medical equipment that will be utilized throughout treatment.
Will you receive a list of the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved? This is often referred to as a patient's bill of rights and should outline the responsibilities of the home health agency, the caregiver, and the patient.
Will the agency work directly with you or your loved one, family members and health care providers? A home health care provider should be willing to educate family members on how to provide proper care for their loved one, and should also have the ability to work with the patient's other health care providers in accordance with HIPPA regulations.
Are there any limits on the types of tasks performed? It is important to know exactly what to expect and what not to expect when it comes to your choice of home health care services.
When will service be provided? Inquire about the frequency of visits and what happens if you need a nurse after hours, on weekends or during holidays. Ask about the agency's policy on delivering services in the event of a power failure or natural disaster.
How are problems addressed and resolved within the agency? Find out who you or another family member can contact with requests, questions, or complaints.
How is an employee absence handled by the agency? In the event that a home health care provider becomes ill or takes a leave of absence, it is important to know what the agency does to ensure that your home care will be continued.
About the Quality of Care
What process does the health care agency use to hire and train caregivers? Ask if the agency requires or provides continuing education, criminal background checks and license verification.
Doesthe home health agency keep the patient's physician informed of the progress of care? Ask if the agency immediately informs the primary care physician of any changes in condition and vital signs.
What is the agency's policy on how a supervisor evaluates the quality of home care? Ask how closely the agency monitors its employees and how often it evaluates the quality of care being provided.
Making sure you feel comfortable with the agency's representatives is probably the most important factor in choosing a home health care agency for you or your loved one. High quality professionals will be ready to answer all of your questions and offer assistance every step of the way.
Learn More about Medistar Home Health
For more information on choosing a home health care provider and to learn more about Medistar Home Health, kindly contact us online, and one of our friendly representatives will be in touch with you shortly. Medistar proudly serves all of North and Central Louisiana, including the Monroe, Opelousas, Ruston, Jackson Parish, Marksville, Alexandria, and Shreveport-Bossier regions. Medistar's Lakeview Home Care provides outstanding service to the Greater Baton Rouge area.