How to Choose a Home Healthcare Provider
The following is a checklist of questions you may wish to ask providers (and other individuals who may know about the provider’s track record). The answers will help you determine which provider is best for you or your loved one.
- How long has this agency been serving the community? How long have the key employees been employed with the company?
- How many licensed and registered nurses and therapists do they have on-staff locally?
- Is this a locally owned company with local employees who live in the community?
- Does this provider have at least a 3-star rating on the Home Health Compare website which Medicare maintains and updates quarterly?
- Has this agency won any awards from independent companies who rate patient outcomes and patient satisfaction as well as financial performance?
- Are nurses or therapists required to evaluate the patient’s home care needs? If so, what does this entail? Do they consult the patient’s physicians and family members?
- Does this provider include the patient and his or her family members in developing the plan of care? Are they involved in making care plan changes?
- Is the patient’s course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by each professional caregiver? Does this provider take time to educate family members on the care being administered to the patient?
- Does this provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care patients are receiving in their homes? If so, how often do these individuals make visits? Who can the patient and his or her family members call with questions or complaints? How does the agency follow up on and resolve problems?
- Does the provider furnish written statements explaining all of the costs and payment plan options associated with home care?
- What procedures does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are its caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- How does this provider ensure patient confidentiality?
In addition, ask the home care provider to supply you with a list of references, such as doctors, discharge planners, patients or their family members, and community leaders who are familiar with the provider’s quality of service and ask them if they recommend the provider, and why.