Questions to Ask a Home Healthcare Agency
In our previous article, we gave you some sources to get a recommendation for a home healthcare agency to serve your loved one at home. Now, it’s time to do the research to find the agency of your choice for your home health care by having some conversations by phone and in person.
Once you have contacted a home healthcare agency, consider asking these questions:
- Do you have written information about your agency available for me?
- What are your geographical areas of service? How long has this agency served the area?
- Do you serve patients who have conditions similar to mine or that of my loved one?
- Exactly what services does the agency offer?
- Has this agency worked with my physician before and would you consult with my physician regularly?
- What are the financial requirements of this agency? Medicare? Private insurance? Does the agency provide detailed explanations of costs and payment plans for home care patients?
After you have received information about the services, the areas served, and the financial aspects of home care from a particular agency, then dig a little deeper with the agencies you are most likely to choose.
Family and caregiver involvement:
- Does this agency always include the patient and his or her family members in developing the plan of care? Can the family be involved in making care plan changes? Does the patient and his or her family receive a copy of this plan, and do the caregivers update it? Does this provider take time to educate family members about the patient’s care?
- Do you give the patient and family copies of the care plan with detailed updates? Will there be time limits or eligibility limits on the home care visits? Perhaps, because of regulations, a patient can receive physical therapy for a six-week period. Do you consult with my doctor about my health conditions regularly?
Resolution of concerns:
- Who can the patient and family members call with questions, concerns and complaints? How can I go about changing home care workers, if one does not suit the patient?
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Supervision of workers:
- Who supervises the home care workers? How often might a nurse, nurse’s aide, therapist or other professional visit the home? How often will the nursing supervisor or head caseworker visit the home?
- In addition, ask for a list of references who are familiar with the provider’s quality of service.
- Contact each reference and ask: Have you frequently referred clients to this agency? Do you have a contractual relationship with the agency?
- Ask for contact information from some patients who have used this agency and would be willing to be contacted to answer questions from you.
Ask the patients:
- What has been your experience with this agency? Have you been satisfied?
Questions like these should give you enough information to make a comparison of agencies and help you make a choice of agencies.
In our personal experience, we found that there are many advantages of hiring a home healthcare agency to help you with the home care for your loved one. We found the home health care workers to be very caring and competent professionals who brought health care, health education, help and hope to our loved ones whenever they visited. I could call any time of day or night with our concerns, which was a big help.
Hope you will find the same!