via the National Association for Home Care and Hospice
Once you acquire the names of several providers, you will want to learn
more about their services and reputations. Following is a checklist of
questions to ask providers and other individuals who may know about the
provider's track record. Their insight will help you determine which
provider is best for you or your loved one.
How long has this provider been serving the community?
Does this provider supply literature explaining its services,
eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? Many providers
furnish patients with a detailed "Patient Bill of Rights" that outlines
the rights and responsibilities of the providers, patients, and
caregivers alike. An annual report and other educational materials also
can provide helpful information about the provider.
How does this provider select and train its employees? Does it protect
its workers with written personnel policies, benefits packages, and
Are nurses or therapists required to evaluate the patient's home care
needs? If so, what does this entail? Do they consult the patient's
physicians and family members?
Does this provider include the patient and his or her family members
in developing the plan of care? Are they involved in making care plan
Is the patient's course of treatment documented, detailing the
specific tasks to be carried out by each professional caregiver? Does
the patient and his or her family receive a copy of this plan, and do
the caregivers update it as changes occur? Does this provider take time
to educate family members on the care being administered to the patient?
Does this provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care
patients are receiving in their homes? If so, how often do these
individuals make visits? Who can the patient and his or her family
members call with questions or complaints? How does the agency follow up
on and resolve problems?
What are the financial procedures of this provider? Does the provider
furnish written statements explaining all of the costs and payment plan
options associated with home care?
What procedures does this provider have in place to handle
emergencies? Are its caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a
How does this provider ensure patient confidentiality?
In addition, ask the home care provider to supply you with a list of
references, such as doctors, discharge planners, patients or their
family members, and community leaders who are familiar with the
provider's quality of service.
Contact each reference and ask:
Do you frequently refer clients to this provider?
Do you have a contractual relationship with this provider? If so, do
you require the provider to meet special standards for quality care?
What sort of feedback have you gotten from patients receiving care
from this provider, either on an informal basis or through a formal
- Do you know of any clients this provider has treated whose cases are
similar to mine or my loved one's? If so, can you put me in touch with
Need help searching?
We have a useful tool which can narrow your search for the best provider in your area, based on your needs!
Click here to use the Association's Provider Members Search.