Considering a home healthcare agency can be a confusing task, especially since the checklist for choosing the right one is so long. This decision is one of the most important decisions in the care of a loved one, so it must be an educated, informed action. Consider this checklist when reviewing home health care options, and if there are any questions, the Vancouver Home Health Care Agency is happy to provide answers.
Licenses and Certifications
Home healthcare agencies are often licensed by the state in which they operate. Not all states require licensing, so check with the state health department for specific requirements. If the state requires licensing, make sure the agency is licensed and has all the proper certifications through the state.
The agency should also be certified with Medicare for federal requirements in health and safety. This is a certification which takes time to receive, so if the agency is not yet certified, find out if the paperwork is processing. Often, the agency can be registered with the state but not with the federal government. Be sure to ask questions regarding licensing and certifications.
The nurses and unskilled caregivers should also receive ongoing training. The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency requires nurses to complete regular training through CE Direct in partnership with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) to keep credentials, and knowledge, up to date. Ask for references as well; these will provide peace of mind and another resource to support the home health care decision.
Agency Policies and Level of Comfort
Review the agency’s policies for privacy, methods of care, process of care, and communication with loved ones. The agency should be insured and insure the employees. Talk to the agency; find out how you and your loved one feel during interactions with the agency. Are they friendly and helpful? The level of comfort with the home healthcare agency is as important as the agency’s policies and credentials; everyone must be comfortable for the most effective in home care.
Expenses and Billing
Review how the home healthcare agency will bill for services. What types of insurance is accepted? Is Medicare or Medicaid accepted? Ask for billing policies in writing, complete with a detailed breakdown of all the costs associated with an in home health care situation. Additionally, ask for any available financial assistance information. Some agencies offer this type of help; if it is offered, ask for written information on the topic.
The patient and the family needs to be comfortable with the process involved in home healthcare. Ask what will happen during the process, from the point of entry into the home to the point of exit. Make sure everyone involved is comfortable with the process, and ask for changes if necessary. Most home healthcare agencies will review necessary help and make changes per individual case.
After the right home healthcare agency has been found, continue to monitor the situation. Ask questions continuously and make sure everyone involved is pleased with the treatment. Vancouver Home Health Care is happy to help you and your family move through the process of home care, keeping your loved one in their beloved homes.
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