With Medicare can I choose my Home health care and Hospice Agencies?
It is YOUR choice! Medicare beneficiaries by law have the right to choose their providers; this includes Home HealthCare and Hospice Agencies. When you or a loved one is in a hospital the hospital, by law, must perform discharge planning. This is the process by which they determine what your needs will be upon discharge, so they can be accommodated.
When the discharge plan includes Home Healthcare or Hospice care a referral must be made by the Hospital to the Agency of YOUR choice. If you do not have a preference they can give the referral to their own agency, but if you have a preference and state it by law they must honor YOUR CHOICE.
If you ask for Care Corp. and another agency calls or shows up, simply tell them you want Care Corp. or call us and we will be happy to help. We too often hear of these violations after the fact and are told the patient and family did not want to cause problems or feared retribution the next time they need to go to the hospital. This is such a shame because the Hospital has caused a problem, broken a law, and violated your rights as a patient. You do not need to fear retribution, the doctors, nurses and aides in the hospital are all there to care for you, it is the Management that is directing you to their agency for financial reasons, and they think you are their property. Stand up for your right to choose your Home healthcare or Hospice agency.
When a Hospice discussion is needed, simply ask for Hospice of Care Corp. we would be happy to talk with you or your family about Hospice, answer any questions and start services as soon or as far off as you wish, after all this is about you and your wishes.
Don’t assume because they know you’ve had Care Corp. for Home Health that when Hospice is mentioned that you will get Hospice of Care Corp. Ask for us by name and INSIST on Your Choice being respected.
I understand patients have a choice of which home healthcare agency we receive care from, what should we consider when making that decision?
You are correct, in most circumstances the patient has a choice of which home healthcare agency provides their care. The exception is when their choices are limited by the insurance company they choose. There are several things to consider when choosing an agency such as years in business and services offered. In addition there is now publicly reported data for Medicare patients called Home Health Compare on Medicare.gov, where one can see General information, Quality of Patient Care data, and Patient Satisfaction Data. There is also an independent ranking of every Medicare-certified home health agency in the nation by National Research Corporation in partnership with Decision Health known as The HomeCare Elite.
Home Health Compare data can be viewed online at Medicare.gov. There you can select three agencies in your area at a time for comparison of Services Offered, Quality of Patient Care and Patient Satisfaction data. Care Corporation, listed as Parkside Care Corp II, offers a full line of services. Care Corp leads the State and Nation in 19 of 22 Quality of Patient Care measures. Care Corp’s patient satisfaction scores lead both Ohio and the U.S. in 100% of publicly reported measures. Compared to agencies locally and statewide, we achieve better satisfaction in professionalism, communication, medication teaching, home safety, pain management, and overall care and most important, more patients would recommend Care Corp to friends and family.
The HomeCare Elite list can be viewed at www.nationalresearch.com/about/2012HCE/
Each year, the National Research Corporation has used Medicare data to rank every Medicare-certified home health agency in the nation and has released a list of the top 25% of agencies – with added recognition for the country’s TOP 500 (top 5%) agencies. While thousands of agencies have occasionally found themselves on the list, Care Corp has been named among the HomeCare Elite every year for the past four years. In addition to making the top 25% of agencies, Care Corp was named as one of the TOP 500 (top 5%) agencies in the nation in 2012.
Care Corp has been in business since 1984, and is the only Home Care Agency in Geauga or Lake Counties to receive the HomeCare Elite Top 500 agencies in the U.S. recognition.
I’ve heard the terms home care and home healthcare both used, is there a difference and if so what is the difference?
There is often confusion as to the difference between home “health” and home “care.” Simply put, home health involves medical care provided by licensed professionals, such as a registered nurse, or physical therapist and is a service typically covered by one’s medical insurance. Home care refers to “supportive” care, such as bathing/dressing, housekeeping and/or transportation to name a few, and is often paid for privately or with long term care insurance.
Home Health is typically warranted when a person has had a recent inpatient stay at a hospital, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing facility. Home health can also benefit those who have had recent medication changes and are in need of education related to potential side effects and monitored to ensure the medication is effective. For someone who shows a decline in overall physical functioning, physical and/or occupational therapy, provided in the home, can assist that person in regaining their independence.
Home care, or home support, may be beneficial to those individuals who are having difficulty performing various activities of daily living. They may need help with cleaning their house and with laundry. Transportation to and from doctors appointments, obtaining groceries, or for running errands is of benefit when a person no longer is able to drive. Home care services can also be of benefit to someone, on a short-term basis, who recently had surgery, resulting in limited mobility, or for someone who’s primary caregiver, such as their daughter, will be out of town for a week, or so. In the instance of recovering from surgery, that person may benefit from both home health and home care services.
Home health services are typically provided by a home health agency, while home care services are available from both individuals as well as agencies. Some benefits of agencies are supervision, background checks, replacement staff in the event the caregiver is unavailable. We hope this helps differentiate Home health and home care.
My friend’s mother had a nurse and physical therapist after she fell in her home. Who pays for that?
Medical (or skilled) homecare is a service provided in the home by a nurse or therapist. The care is ordered by a physician and can include such things as wound care, medication management and response, rehabilitation following a stroke, fall or joint replacement. These services are covered by Medicare and many insurances.
There are four basic requirements for Medicare skilled home care to be provided:
- A physician must have seen/examined the client, determined the need for the skilled care and ordered the services.
- Ordered care must require the skills of a nurse or therapist.
- The client must be homebound. This means that it takes a “considerable and taxing effort” for the client to leave home.
- The visits provided must be intermittent.
We at Care Corporation would like people to know that they may often qualify for and benefit from skilled home care services. If you are homebound, have new prescription meds, are experiencing falls at home or have wounds with which you need help, ask your physician for a referral to Care Corporation. These services can make a marked difference in maintaining your independence at home.
Care Corporation has been providing skilled homecare services for 29 years. We serve both Geauga and Lake Counties and are proud to have been named to the 2012 HomeCare Elite TOP 500 Agencies nationwide. If you have any questions or a need for skilled services, please call us!
My mother’s home health care nurse has suggested a social worker visit. Mom is afraid this means she will be put in a nursing home. What are the benefits of a social workers help?
Social workers are a vital part of the home health care team at Care Corp, which includes the client’s physician, nurses, therapy staff, and home health aides. They often work with outside agencies such as adult protective services, mental health agencies, Veterans administration, United Way, Alzheimer association and the department of job and family services.
Social workers do not put anyone in a nursing home, in fact just the opposite, they help client’s connect to community resources, provide emotional support, and assist with long term planning options so the client may stay as independent as possible in their home. With the help of these community resources a client who was not aware of the support and services available, may find financial assistance, emotional support and more fully understand their current options as well help make educated decisions about their long term plan.
Let me elaborate a bit on each of the above mentioned. Community resources are food banks, churches, transportation services, local department on aging, United way 211, Veterans Administration aide and attendant, HEAP (home energy assistance program), Alzheimer respite programs and Homestead exemption (decreases property taxes). These programs provide meals, transportation, pay for aide services, and decrease expenses; all things that can make life a little easier.
Social workers provide emotional support for clients and their caregivers who are having difficulty coping with a chronic illness or even a terminal illness. Social workers help with coping skills as well as resources for respite care, which gives caregivers a needed break so they can take care of themselves.
Long-term planning consists of discussing options for the future so that clients and their families can make informed decisions about which services will be needed in the long term. Options such as family support, non-medical home care agency support, assisted living facilities, skilled facilities and knowledge to help understand why and when these options may be necessary.
Social workers listen to you, empowering clients and families in their ability to make choices and control their lives as best they can.