Selecting A Provider
Federal and state laws state patients have the right or freedom to choose any qualified home health agency to provide care in a home when needed. Whether the patient is returning home from a hospital, a rehab facility, or a nursing home, and the physician recommends home healthcare, the patient has the right to select the home healthcare agency that will provide the care. Or, if the patient is at the doctor’s office and the doctor suggests home healthcare is necessary to monitor and/or manage a chronic disease, the patient may choose which agency will provide the needed services.
Before deciding on a home healthcare agency, ask the following questions:
- How long has the agency been in business in the community?
- Is the agency certified by Medicare? This will assure it meets federal requirements for health and safety.
- Does the agency have a current license to operate in the state?
- Who will be in your home?
- Are the professionals that will be coming into the home bonded and insured?
- Does the agency employ registered nurses and licensed practical nurses?
- Are home health aides certified?
- Does the agency conduct a thorough screening of its employees before hiring?
- Does the agency provide a written plan of care that details the services to be provided and what is covered by a third party payer, and what is not?
- Does the plan of care outline the patient’s course of treatment, describing the tasks to be performed by the caregiver?
- How does the agency keep the patient/caregiver informed about the treatment the patient is receiving?
- Is the agency available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
- What procedures are in place if there is an emergency or for solving problems?
- If a third party payer source other than Medicare or Medicaid is paying for the services, does the agency accept that coverage?