Finding a good health care provider can be a bit of a challenge. However, if you know the right questions to ask, it does not have to be.
There are many reasons why you may need to look into long term care for your loved one. They may need help with common aging problems, recovering from a surgery or illness, or just getting basic things done around the house. Home health care services can help with everything from cooking and cleaning to administering medication and bathing.
By choosing home health care services, you can get the care you need while staying in the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the questions you can ask to help weed out to good candidates.
First you will want to look at the agency itself. How long has the agency been running and who has accredited it? Is it certified by Medicare to meet federal requirements? Does it have a license to operate? How do they protect the confidentiality of their patients? Also ask for the credentials of the care providers and for referrals from doctors, hospitals, and previous clients.
Next, you will want to consider the quality of care that they offer. Find out the training that they provide as well as the types of professional services. Are they bonded and insured? How do they evaluate the quality of care? Do they have references for individual staff member? Also take some time to talk to the employees and see what your impression is of them, and if they are friendly and helpful.
Next, consider the costs of receiving home care. Can you get a list of services and fees? How do they handle their billing? Will they accept your insurance plan? Do they have financial assistance, and how do you qualify? Will they accept your Medicare/Medicaid benefits? Some may also have deductibles and co-pays that will need to be met ahead of time, so you will want to know that up front.
Lastly, you will want to be sure that you are clear on the services provided. Get a plan or contract in writing, and ask for written brochures detailing fees and services. Who will be working in your home, and what will they do? What happens if there is an emergency or if that person cannot come in to work? How do you resolve complaints? You will want to be clear upfront exactly what you will receive, and how you can edit your coverage if needed.
Once you have decided on the home care service provider that is right for you, you will have to be the one to follow up and make sure that you are getting everything that you are paying for. Record visits and what was done, and compare that to you contract. If you are concerned that your loved one is not getting the care he or she deserves, contact the agency and file a complaint. If the services do not seem to be adequate, you should consider contacting their doctor to see if further treatment is necessary.