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Senior Resources » Home Care » Need Help Choosing a Home Care Agency?

Need Help Choosing a Home Care Agency?

Finding the right home healthcare agency can be a daunting task. And, 24-hour care at home can cost nothing short of a fortune. When searching for a Medicare-certified home healthcare agency in your area, use the following questions to help narrow your search.

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1. Is the agency Medicare-certified?

Don’t just assume that it is! Check either the home care agency’s website to confirm, or visit Medicare.gov to use the Care Compare tool.

2. Is the agency licensed by the state?

Again, you can confirm on the business website, or by visiting the website of your local Area Agency on Aging.

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3. What credentials do caregivers possess?

Home care providers come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common professionals are certified nursing assistants (CNA), physical therapists (PT), and occupational therapists (OT). Check with the agency to see if their employees fit your senior loved one’s needs.

4. Does the home care agency provide a written care plan?

No two care plans are the same. A home care agency should provide a written care plan and it should be looked at and signed off on by your primary physician. The care plan should include items such as what services are needed, who will provide the services and how often, and what medical equipment you’ll need.

It’s important to note that Medicare does not pay for custodial care such as bathing or dressing.

How to Get Home Health Care

To order home health care is not complicated. A doctor must order/prescribe it and sign the plan. The home care agency should schedule a face-to-face meeting with the patient and family members. The care plan and certification will last up to 60 days. Your doctor will likely need to sign off for recertification if home care is medically necessary for longer.

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Originally published December 30, 2022

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