Finding the right home health and hospice care providers requires some research. You will need to talk with your healthcare provider about your home health or hospice care needs. When looking for a provider, consider the following:
Quality of care
What services are available
Staff training and expertise
When looking into the quality of a provider, you may see the following terms:
Licensure. Some states require providers to have licenses to operate. Basic legal and operating requirements as directed by the state must be met to get a license.
Bonding. A bond is a type of insurance policy for a provider. To become bonded, a provider must pay a set amount. The bond protects the provider from bankruptcy in the event of a lawsuit by a consumer.
Certification. State certification by state health departments makes a home health or hospice care provider eligible for Medicare (and sometimes Medicaid) payments. To become certified, a provider must meet basic federal and state standards in patient care and financial management. Certified healthcare professionals are certified by their respective national organizations. The certification usually requires passing a national test or work experience.
Accreditation. Nationally recognized accrediting organizations evaluate and accredit quality healthcare services. A provider must voluntarily seek out this accreditation. Some organizations that accredit home health and hospice care include:
Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC)
Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP)
The Joint Commission (TJC)
When choosing a home health provider, consider asking the following questions:
How many years has the provider been serving the community?
Does the provider have written or digital materials describing its services, cost, and funding?
Do they evaluate your home healthcare needs? Is there a written plan of care for the person needing home health care?
When are caregivers available?
Is there a nursing supervisor on-call 24 hours a day? Is respite or inpatient care available if needed?
Can the provider ensure patient confidentiality?
How is quality of care and services kept track of?
What level of training do the caregivers have?
What types of payments are accepted? Is financial aid available?
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice and Eldercare Locator are resources for home care and hospice services.