Home Health Agencies Checklist

Questions to consider when looking for a home health agency:

  1. How long has the agency been serving the community?
  2. Does the agency have printed brochures describing the services it offers and how much they cost? If so, ask for one.
  3. Is the agency an approved Medicare provider?
  4. Is the agency’s quality of care certified by a national accrediting body such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations?
  5. Does the agency have a current license to practice (if required in the state where you live)?
  6. Does the agency offer a “patient’s bill of rights” that describes the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and the senior being cared for?
  7. Does the agency write a plan of care for the patient (with input from the patient, his/her doctor and family), and update the plan as necessary?
  8. Does the care plan outline the patient’s course of treatment, describing specific tasks to be performed by each caregiver?
  9. How closely do supervisors oversee care to ensure quality?
  10. Will agency caregivers keep family members informed about the kind of care their loved one is getting?
  11. Are agency staff members available around the clock, seven days a week, if necessary?
  12. Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available to provide on-call assistance 24 hours a day?
  13. How does the agency ensure patient confidentiality?
  14. How are agency caregivers hired and trained?
  15. What is the procedure for resolving problems when they occur, and who can you call with questions or complaints?
  16. How does the agency handle billing?
  17. Is there a sliding fee schedule based on ability to pay, and is financial assistance available to pay for services?
  18. Will the agency provide a list of references for its caregivers?
  19. Who does the agency call if the home healthcare worker cannot come when scheduled?
  20. What type of employee screening is done?

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