How to choose a Home Health Agency

Here are some key questions to ask home care agencies to learn about their services as well as their reputations. Consider their answers when making a decision on which home care agency is best for you.

  • How long has the agency been serving the community? Length of service can be a measure of stability and reliability.
  • Is the agency certified by Medicare? The fact that an agency is Medicare-certified is one measure of quality, because it means that the agency has met federal minimum requirements.
  • Is the agency licensed? Many states, including Kentucky, require that a home health agency be licensed.
  • Is the agency accredited? Accreditation indicates that an agency has met standards established by an independent accrediting organization.
  • Are the agency's caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
  • What are the agency's procedures for handling emergencies?
  • Does the agency provide print material describing its services, eligibility requirements, fees and funding sources?
  • Does the agency assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care being delivered in the home? What other procedures does the agency use to ensure the quality of care?
  • How does an agency choose and train its employees? Does it protect its workers with written personnel policies, benefit packages and malpractice insurance?
  • Does an agency nurse or therapist conduct an in-home evaluation of the patient's needs? What is included in the evaluation and who is consulted (patient's family, physician)?
  • Is the patient's plan of care written out with specific information about the duties of each professional caregiver? Does the patient and his or her family receive a copy of this plan of treatment?
  • Whom do you call at the agency with questions or complaints? How are problems resolved?
  • Does the agency provide written materials that explain the costs and what services you will receive?
  • Does the agency ensure patient confidentiality?

For further information, call (502) 581-8621 or (800) 346-4577.

 

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200 Abraham Flexner Way•Louisville, KY•40202

Last Updated: 7/16/2014