Questions to Ask a Home Health Agency about Home Health Care
Trying to find the right home health care provider can be exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming. Not only is the situation itself difficult, but having a loved one who needs consistent care is emotionally challenging. There are probably dozens of questions that are running through your mind. But when the time comes to hire an agency or a specific person who can provide care, it’s not uncommon for your mind to go blank.
At Assured & Associates Personal Care, we treat patients who have had a catastrophic injury and need expert care that goes beyond the traditional range of home health care services. We understand that you want only the best care for your loved one, someone who will understand their patient’s needs and wants, and can be proactive about their treatment. If you’re interviewing agencies and want to know what some important questions to ask are, here are some of the top questions.
Home Healthy Agency Qualifications
A home health care agency should have a range of qualifications, not only for the agency themselves, but for their caregivers as well. Agencies in Georgia are required by the state to be licensed, so ask if a potential agency has the correct licensing and has been reviewed recently. Ask them whether or not they are certified by Medicare, and if they aren’t, ask why.
In general, this question should be fairly easy for agencies to answer, they either do or do not have the proper qualifications and licensing. When they do, they should know right away which permits, licenses, accreditation, and certifications that they have, or should at least be able to provide a list. You can also ask about the caregivers qualifications themselves. We’ll go into more detail on this later.
In-Home Nursing Costs
Understanding the cost of catastrophic health care is definitely an important consideration — will they work with your insurance? Are fees covered by Medicare? Do they offer financial assistance? How much does each service cost? Will you be responsible for social security or payroll taxes? It’s also important to understand the details of your own insurance plan and what they can and won’t cover and how Medicare works into that equation. The cost and insurance of in-home nursing can be one of the more complicated and frustrating factors, so if you have any questions, we will do our best to answer your questions. However, keep in mind that it may be up to your insurance plan.
Home Health Services
Another incredibly important consideration is what services they offer. Obviously, if you need catastrophic care, and an agency only provides basic nursing, you will want to go with another company. If you believe that you have it narrowed down to a few providers, you can ask them specific questions about if they will offer written care plans before service begins. A care plan should include specifics on special care needs, necessary medical equipment, responsibilities of the caregiver, and more. You may want to consider listing all of the care that your loved one requires and take that list to an interview, so that you can be confident all of your needs will be met.
How Do They Handle Emergency Services?
In emergency situations, when your loved one needs to get to a hospital or needs medical attention as soon as possible, how will they handle it? This most critical time is when you want to know that your home health care aide will be able to act quickly and appropriately. Do they have an established emergency plan of action? What does it entail? When you do choose an agency, ask if you can personalize this plan to your needs.
Are Caregivers Insured?
Catastrophic care providers should be insured in the event that something happens. This will ensure that you don’t need to pay for an injury that may occur while the aide is on duty. It will be rare to find an agency that does not ensure their caregivers and this provides confidence and ease of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands.
How Are Your Employees Trained?
While you do want to feel 100 percent comfortable and confident in a home health care company, you should feel just as confident, if not more so, with the individual aides that will be providing the care. If you’re able to, interview several of the care providers and ask them about their training, education, experience, and if they take part in continuing education. To ensure that your loved one is receiving the care that they need and deserve, ask them if they have specific training and experience with the services with you need.
Will We Have Regular Communication?
Ask a potential catastrophic care agency how often they will be in contact and who you need to contact when you have questions or need a change in care. Communication is key to having correct and successful care, so it’s important that everyone is on the same page.
If you need home health care for a loved one, get in touch with the team at Assured & Associates Personal Care of Georgia. Our staff has the experience, knowledge, and the compassion your loved one needs.