by Donn J. Sinclair, MBA – December 5, 2017
When recovering from an injury or illness, your Medicare coverage and your Medigap or Medicare Supplement may pay some of the Home Health Care costs that you incur. When selecting a home care agency for you or a loved one, there are important questions to ask when interviewing home health care agencies.
- Private duty home care – what year did the agency first offer that service ?
- State licenses – are the agency staff and home health care agency properly licensed in your state ? More specifically, properly licensed to provide care level your physician ordered ?
- Which home health care agency staff member coordinates with the patient’s physician to implement the physician developed plan of care ? The plan is evaluated and updated by the agency on what schedule ?
- What daily notes are maintained to monitor the progress of the patient ?
- Who and how is quality of care supervised and updated ? How frequent are unscheduled agency supervisory visits on the agency staff ?
- What are the home health care agency ongoing training mandates for their caregivers ? Who supervises the training ?
- How and by whom are after normal business hour emergencies handled ?
- Does the home health care agency have on staff nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and other qualified professionals available to provide needed in home care ? If not, with which providers does the home health care agency have an established working relationship ?
- What screening techniques are used to screen caregivers ? Do these include reference checks, driving records, credit checks, and criminal background investigations ?
- Are the home health care agency caregivers W-2 employees or W-9 subcontractors ? Are there any home health care agency incidents of failure to file payroll tax reports, or incidents where the agency failed to pay taxes on a timely basis ?
When it comes to selecting a home health care agency, you should follow the Boy Scouts motto “Be Prepared”. Make certain that you and your loved ones get the care they require and deserve. Also make certain that Medicare and your Medicare Supplement pay as they should for the care received.
Donn J. Sinclair, Winthrop MBA
in Charlotte NC and Charleston SC
December 5, 2017 (803)329-0609
DJS: More information is available at Medicare.gov