Whether it’s you or your loved one who requires home healthcare services, choosing the right home care agency to fulfill your specific needs is essential. The type of support that is chosen will allow a person to remain safely in their home while recovering from a surgery or a long-term illness.
Choosing the right agency takes a lot of time and a thorough amount of research. You want to feel confident about the person that you will allow in your home.
Different home care agencies offer different types of services. Some of these services may include running errands, personal care, therapy, medication reminders and complex medical care that requires a nurse.
It is important to compare the services that different home care agencies offer in order to find the one that will best suit the needs of you or your loved one. There are many essential questions that you want to ask a home care agency during your interview with them.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Care Agency
It is important to have a list of questions that you want to ask a home care agency when you interview them. Here are some essential questions that you want to remember to ask.
1. How long has your agency been providing home care services for?
You want to choose a company that is established and has a proven track record of success and honesty. Ask for referrals and references and take the time to thoroughly go over them. Do not hesitate to call references from medical professionals, doctors and clients.
2. What kinds of services does your home care agency offer?
You want to thoroughly go over all of the non-medical and medical services that a home care agency has to offer. They will often include services such as medication management, personal care, meal preparation, transfers, therapy, nursing care and full-time home care for chronic conditions.
3. Are you a full service home care agency?
A full service home care agency will take care of all of the details. This will include hiring, scheduling and payroll services. This will help take the stress out of home care services and allow you to focus on getting the care that you or your loved one may require.
4. Does your agency perform criminal background checks on the care provider prior to being hired on as part of the staff?
When choosing a home care agency that is right for you, you want to make sure they perform drug tests and do thorough background checks on their staff members. Allowing a stranger into your home is already a stressful situation. You want to have enough confidence to feel that your at-home care provider is honest and trustworthy.
5. Will I be charged if the care provider is late or decides not to show up for work when scheduled?
Your care provider may be a great person who works hard and is the best at what they do. However, if they are continuously late or do not always arrive when scheduled, this is a huge problem. You want to make sure the agency has a strict policy for these potential problems so you will not be charged for poor work ethic.
6. Can your agency start immediately or will I be placed on a waiting list?
If you or your loved one are in need of emergency care, this is an essential question. You want to make sure you choose a home care agency that doesn’t have a waiting list and can set up care for you right away.
7. What types of insurance does your agency accept?
You want to make sure that the home care agency of your choice accepts your insurance plan. A diverse agency will accept private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. You need to know how long these services will be provided with private insurance and Medicare. It may be beneficial to know how long services will be provided under Medicaid Prior Approval.
8. What is the cost of the services I need and how am I billed?
There are different ways that services can be billed. Many charge an hourly rate while others charge on a per visit basis. You may also inquire as to whether or not these rates are attached to a contract.
9. Is your home care agency accredited by a governing agency?
A governing agency, such as The Joint Commission, is an independent group that accredits and evaluates health care programs and organizations that request to be reviewed on a voluntary basis. They will assess the quality of the home care agency’s services and review them based on specific standards of excellence. If they are accredited by such as agency, ask to see their most recent survey results.
10. What if I am not satisfied with the care provider that is assigned to me?
It’s human nature that people sometimes do not get along well. If you are assigned a care provider that you or your loved one does not get along with, or you do not care for how they perform their services, a good agency will allow you to be assigned a different care provider without hassles.
It is essential that you sit down and go over all of the questions that are important to you when choosing a home care agency that will best suit your needs.
A thorough interview with a home care agency will help you choose the best provider for your needs. You want the best for you or your loved one and want to make sure you choose a company that is licensed, bonded and insured.
Never worry about taking up too much of anyone’s time. Also, never hesitate to ask the same question more than once. Whether you do not remember the answer or the answer was incomplete, you have a right to ask the question again.
A good home care agency will be happy to answer your long list of questions and provide you with all of the answers you will need to make an informed decision.
Updated: March 21, 2014