How to Choose a Home Health Care Service

If you need help recovering from an accident, surgery or if you need long-term care for a chronic illness or disability, home health care is often a viable option that is gaining popularity for a reason. Studies have shown that recovery at home is better for a patient’s physical and mental health. Today’s home health care services can provide everything from aid for commissions and household chores like cooking and cleaning, to specialized medical care from nurses and therapists. But with so many new home care agencies springing up, how do you know which one to choose?

Fortunately, if you follow these basic guidelines, you can be confident when choosing your home healthcare provider:

o Discover the agency’s credentials.
Make sure your home health care service is licensed in your state, is certified by Medicare and is accredited by a government agency such as the Joint Commission Home Care Accreditation Program.

o Find out the credentials of caregivers.
In addition to looking for suppliers who are friendly and helpful, make sure you are informed about the professional training of caregivers. Are they tied and insured? Does the home health service have a supervisor who monitors the quality of the service? Also, ask for referrals for the same caregivers and find out if the home health care agency controls their employees.

o Clarify all billing issues.
The agency should be able to provide publications that clearly explain its rates and services. Make sure you know the additional costs, deductibles and uncovered expenses in advance. Ask if they offer any kind of financial assistance to those in need.

o Be clear about what services you are receiving.
Learn about receiving a written plan that describes in detail the services you will receive, so that there is no confusion. Make sure you know the specific services your family doctor will provide, including housework or household chores. Also, find out what time the home health care provider has call assistance in case of emergency. A 24-hour hotline with someone on call is desirable and useful.

Finally, after the home healthcare plan has been put in place, check the services, making sure that it is in line with what is actually discussed. By adopting these measures you can ensure that your home health service will be beneficial to everyone.

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