Finding the best home care provider for your needs requires taking the time to learn as much as you can about the providers in your area, but this is time well spent.Following is a checklist of questions to ask providers and other individuals who may know about the provider's history. Their insight will help you determine which provider is best for you or your loved one.
- Does this provider supply literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? Does the provider furnish patients with a detailed "Patients Bill of Rights" that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the providers, patients, and caregivers alike?
- Is the provider certified by Medicare? Only Medicare certified home health agencies can provide services covered by Medicare.
- Is the provider licensed by the state?
- How does the provider select and train its employees? Does it protect its workers with written personnel policies, clinical protocol and malpractice insurance?
- Does the provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care patients are receiving in their homes?
- What procedure does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are the agency caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- Does the provider include the patient and his/her family members in developing the plan of care?
- Are nurses/therapists required to evaluate the patient's home care needs? What does this entail? Do they consult the physician and family?