Choosing Home Health Care

Take Care Private Duty Home Health Care’s owner and CEO, Susanne S. Wise, RN, MBA, provides relevant information and key questions one should pose to a private duty home care agency when considering their services. Read the full article in the May 2010 issue of Sarasota’s SCENE Magazine.

Choosing Home Health Care

by Susanne S. Wise, RN, MBA

According to an AARP survey, 89 percent of seniors wish to age in their own homes. Studies have shown that as little as two hours of home health care each week may prolong one’s independence. How does one begin the search for a home health care provider and what key questions will help in arriving at this decision? Researching now will solidify plans for when home health care is necessary, without compromising one’s own health or options.scene-choosing-home-care

Types of Providers
There are four types of home care providers: home care agencies, employment agencies, registries, and independent contractors. Of these four care providers, the home care agency is the only one that accepts responsibility for screening, training, insuring, and supervising staff, as stated by the National Private Duty Association.­

Licensed & Regulated
A private duty home health care agency is licensed through Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Depending upon one’s needs, care can be scheduled from one hour a day up to twenty-four hours. Private duty home care agencies accept various forms of insurance or private pay. Private duty home care is an affordable option. The average annual cost for one nursing home resident is $69,715 and for one assisted living facility resident the cost is $36,372, according to a MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home and Assisted Living Costs. In comparison to facilities, home care averages $18,000 annually for approximately twenty hours of companionship home care each week, based on NPDA State of Caregiving Industry Survey. The key to maintaining independence in the home may be a few hours of care a week. Whether housekeeping assistance, preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner, providing medication management, accompanying one out on the town to visit with friends, home health care focuses on wellness and safety within one’s home setting.

Create a List of Potential Providers
When formulating a list of potential home care providers, make sure they are a licensed home health care agency. Is the owner a local community member? Do the owner and the management team have a medical background and extensive experience in home health care? How long has the agency been active in the community? Has the agency received deficiencies with AHCA, and if so how many and what were the results? Try and research these points before you set an appointment with local agencies.

Interviewing
When interviewing potential home care agencies, ask some of these key questions to see if the agency is qualified with the appropriate backings to support your needs.

  1. Is this a private duty home health care agency and not a registry? Is the company licensed, bonded, and insured?
  2. Does the agency have a drug testing policy for their employees?
  3. Is a Registered Nurse, trained in home health care, available to meet with me within 24 hours of my call? Is the visit complimentary?
  4. Is there an insurance specialist who holds the Certified in Long-Term Care designation who is able to research my benefits and handle my claims at no additional cost?
  5. Am I assured that the employee who arrives is an actual employee with the agency I have chosen and not a contracted individual?
  6. Is the agency a member of the National Private Duty Association?

Susanne S. Wise, RN, MBA, is the Owner and Executive Administrator of Take Care Private Duty Home Health Care. Take Care celebrates 15 years in the community and has offices in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice. Call 941.927.2292. Sarasota License: HHA#21657096 & Manatee License: HHA#299991405

What Our Clients Have to Say

I thought I could handle my recovery on my own. However, having been under the care of an experienced nurse, I now realize the value of the one-on-one nurse.

Judy