It doesn't matter if you're facing your first surgery or your tenth; facing the prospect of an operation and the recovery to follow can be a daunting prospect. If you find yourself worrying about what…Read More
Navigating Home Health Care in Houston
Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, we all need a helping hand. Whether you’re getting to an age that makes it difficult to maintain your daily routine or you’ve just come back from the hospital and you are worried that complications will send you back, having a skilled home care team in your corner can make all the difference. Yes, family members and friends can do a lot of the work and make a big difference. However, there is a good chance you’ll require expertise your loved ones don’t possess. And even if your loved one is a medical professional, leaning on them for home care can put intense pressure on them, creating an unsustainable, frustrating situation for everyone. The difficulty of caring for a loved one while juggling one’s own life is not to be underestimated. Instead of making a difficult situation more challenging, you can bring in a care professional.
A home care professional from Justice Healthcare Group can bring professional expertise and equipment into your home, preventing expensive complications and discouraging setbacks during illness or recovery. However, there is more to home health care than calling someone and setting up a time to meet. You need a team who will have your back over a significant period of time.
Your Roadmap to Excellent Home Health Care
At Justice Healthcare Group, we work tirelessly to help people learn how to make informed decisions about their health. We also provide world-class home care because we’re on a mission to keep people comfortable in their own homes as they recover. Over our time in hospitals and now Justice Healthcare, we have learned that people don’t know which questions to ask when it comes to medical providers. As a result, they end up with care that doesn’t fit them or gives them results they don’t want.
We’re going to take some time and share questions you can ask prospective home care providers to clarify whether or not they are your best option.
The physical discomfort of illness or surgery recovery is difficult on its own without having to worry about money. However, this is exactly what many people end up doing. That is why the Justice Healthcare Team does what we do; we want to help people avoid expensive trips back to the hospital. To make sure you are completely aware of the costs associated with home health care, here are some great questions to ask a prospective care company.
Ask about the company’s billing schedule.
Inquire about hourly rates and how training and service requirements affect them.
Determine whether or not the company can accept long-term care insurance.
If the company does accept insurance, figure out if you will need to pay in full and then be reimbursed by insurance or if the company can bill insurance directly.
Fine-tuning your care is key. You want affordable care that gets you through, and if a provider doesn’t take the time to figure out exactly what you need, you may end up paying for care you don’t need or suffering because you didn’t get enough care in the first place. A good care provider will have a system for accommodating your needs and remaining flexible as you recover. They will also be honest about how much care you need and not overestimate what you need to get as much money out of you as possible.
Determine the minimum hours required per visit.
Ask if changing hours will mean working with a different caregiver.
Clarify the process for how to adjust care hours as your needs change.
Sit down with a care provider and determine how many care hours you actually need.
General Company Information
It doesn’t matter how pretty the brochure is; companies have health indicators that you should check on. You want a coherent, dedicated team of people that have been working together for a while under consistent leadership. High turnover rates in the employees or the leadership can be red flags. When a team of people works together long enough, they figure out ways to fine-tune their operations to better serve their clients. They also build trust and, hopefully, effective communications channels. Remember, this is your health we’re talking about. You don’t want to invest in a team who will give you multiple answers to the same question. Clarity is absolutely essential, so consider asking the following questions.
Ask who owns the company and how long the current owner has been in charge.
Watch for consistency in the answers you get when asking different people procedural questions.
Important Company Credentials
It would be great if you could assume that everyone offering home health care had the right credentials, but, unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Taking the time to make sure a company has done their homework is an important way to protect yourself. The company you choose should have bonded employees, sufficient insurance, and complete certifications. Additionally, everything should be up to date. If a company cannot keep its own paperwork in order, it certainly will not be able to care for you correctly.
Inquire whether the caregivers are bonded or not and how much the bonding is worth.
Get proof of the company’s insurance in the form of their insurance declaration page.
Get an overview of the certifications held by the company and its caregivers. You’ll also want to know who gave those certifications.
Caregiver Hiring Process
If you ask anyone about the disadvantages of home care, they’ll probably say something about letting a stranger into your home. It can be unnerving to have someone you don’t know or trust in your home, and there are certainly plenty of horror stories. The great news is, you can protect yourself and your property by doing your homework ahead of time. High-quality home care companies like ours understand that, without trustworthy care providers, we simply don’t have a business anymore. That is why we carefully and thoroughly screen our care providers. We want you to have the cream of the crop, and we don’t accept anything less. At the end of the day, there are people out there who are passionate about being your solution; you just need to take the time to find the company they work for. These questions will help bring clarity to the nature of a company’s employees.
Find out if there identical standards that apply to all employees.
Determine how often fresh criminal searches and drug screenings repeat on existing employees.
Make sure the company’s criminal search, drug screening, and credit checks are done both nation-wide and county-wide.
Get the rundown of everything a company uses to vet their employees
When you invest in home health care, you’re paying for actual health care, not its insufficient cousin. At Justice Healthcare, we have seen the profound difference a well-trained healthcare provider can make for someone trying to recover at home without extra hospital stays. We used to work in hospitals, and we see no reason why the hospital can’t come to you (minus the astonishing expense). You need to make sure that the company you choose not only hires experienced care providers but holds them to a high standard and keeps them on the cutting edge of care. Caregivers should be required to attend yearly, even monthly, training.
Find out who trains the company’s caregivers.
Ask what kind of training each level of caregiver must complete before taking on clients.
Ask about ongoing training. What is the company’s minimum for its caregivers?
Check your state’s requirements for ongoing training.
This is where the rubber hits the road. If a company doesn’t offer the service you need, that’s an easy choice. However, chances are good that you’ll have several options to choose from. It may come down to the way the company organizes and implements that care. You want a company who will be able to handle your recovery or illness. A great company will work with you to make sure that you get the care you need when you need it and have the ability to change your care depending on what you’re going through.
Ask if the company makes custom care plans and how often they get updated.
Figure out how the company handles changes in your required level of care.
Even if you only need a day or two of care, communication is extremely important. You need to know what to expect from your care provider, including when they’ll get in touch and what information they will regularly share with you. It’s good to have evidence that the company is tracking your progress and monitoring your need for their services. You should also know how to get in touch with them if you have questions or problems. They should understand how important their care is to your quality of life and be as available as possible.