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How Do I Choose A Home Health Care Agency?

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Patients have the right to choose their home health provider and it is an important decision to make sure that the home health provider is best suited to the individual’s needs. There are several considerations to take into account when making this decision, outlined below. You may consider interviewing different agencies when deciding on a provider.

Medicare Certification

Agencies that are certified by Medicare are required to meet federal regulations for health and safety. It is recommended to choose an agency that is certified by Medicare. Check Medicare certifications here.

Accreditation

Most states require agencies to be licensed and reviewed on a regular basis. The Joint Commission accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting specific performance standards. Look for the Gold Seal of Approval® to determine if an organization is accredited.

Quality & Patient Satisfaction Scores

Medicare built the Care Compare tool to help people choose a home health care provider. The tool shows quality scores for home health agencies such as home health star ratings that summarize some of the current home health provider performance measures. There are two types of home health star ratings including Quality of Patient Care ratings and Patient Survey Star Ratings.

Specialization

Many home health agencies offer a wide variety of services including nursing care, infusion therapy, medication management, nutrition services, pain management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and social work. It is important to make sure that the agency you choose offers the services you are looking for. Some agencies also specialize in certain areas such as orthopedic rehabilitation and can provide high-quality services for specific diagnoses.

Staff Credentials

The clinical staff providing care at home health agencies should include licensed professionals with certifications appropriate to their field. Home health agencies should have completed extensive background checks on all licensed medical professionals.

History & Reputation

Some people consider asking providers how long they have been serving the community. You can also do research on the company’s reputation with your physician or online at Yelp and Google. You may consider asking for recommendations from people who work in the healthcare industry as a good place to start.

Cost

When home health care is considered medically necessary, it is covered at least in part by Medicare and other health insurance providers. The home health agencies you are considering should be able to explain what your insurance will cover as well as any anticipated out-of-pocket expenses.

Personalized Plan of Care

It is important that home health care follows the plan of care set by your physician. Home health providers should use your physicians’ protocols and assess your individual needs to create a personalized plan of care for your recovery.

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