Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Health or Hospice Provider
Every patient by law has a right to choose his or her care provider when in need of home health care or hospice services. Below is a list of questions to which every patient (or family member responsible for decision-making for the patient) should know the answer before choosing a provider.
Now all home health care and hospice agencies are created equally. Some provide better care than others. Some are more available than others. Be sure you don’t get stuck with a sub-par company by asking the following questions before choosing your home health or hospice provider.
- How long has the agency served your community?
EGAN has proudly taken care of over 150,000 patients throughout Southeast Louisiana since 1988.
- Does the agency have a brochure or literature describing the services provided and associated costs?
Most services EGAN provides are covered by insurance and/or Medicare. We will gladly provide information related to costs associated with services you may require that are not covered by Medicare or insurance. Here is a complete list of the insurers EGAN is contracted to work with, including Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Comp and VA benefits.
- Is the agency a Medicare approved provider?
EGAN Home Health and Hospice is a approved Medicare provider and we accept most private insurances. Call us (or click the above link in question #2) and we can confirm your insurance provider is one of our approved companies. However, if it isn’t we’ll work with you and your insurance company to get the services you require approved.
- Does a national accrediting body, such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, certify the quality of care offered?
EGAN is proudly Joint Commission accredited and has been for decades (this is a bigger deal than one might think).
- Does the agency have a current license to practice?
EGAN Home Health and Hospice is licensed in the State of Louisiana by the Department of Health & Hospitals to serve the residents of Southeast Louisiana.
- Does the agency offer a “Bill of Rights” that described the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and you, the person receiving care?
EGAN Home Health and Hospice offers a “Patients’ Bill of Rights.” Every patient receives a copy of our patient “Bill of Rights” upon admittance to our care. However, if you would like to review a copy we would be happy to provide one to you.
- Does the agency prepare a plan of care for you, the patient (with input from the patient, patient’s physician and patient’s family)? Will the agency update the plan if necessary?
Every patient has a personal plan of care which is a complete collaboration between the patient, patient’s physician, patient’s family and EGAN Home Health and Hospice. Plans are adjusted as directed by physician and staff.
- Are agency staff members available around the clock, 24/7, 365 days a week, if necessary?
EGAN maintains a full staff during normal business hours and an on-call staff to assist patients, physicians, and the patient’s family during non-business hours and on holidays.
- Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available for on-call assistance at all times?
EGAN has a nursing supervisor available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions or resolve any issues.
- Does the agency utilize up-to-date, real-time, electronic records for the patient which can be viewed by the patient’s physician at all times?
EGAN utilizes a state of the art tablet system which allows all of our field staff to update the patient’s care in the patient’s home. Additionally, all lab results, medication records, chart notes, physician orders, etc. are available 24 hours a day, and can be viewed by the patient’s physician and EGAN staff at any time.
- How are agency caregivers hired and trained?
All of our EGAN skilled staff are licensed to provide care to our patients. In addition, we require that they shadow current EGAN staff, and are trained to strictly follow our protocols and specifications, complete any continuing education and certification requirements, and our Directors of Nursing conduct supervisory visits with staff to insure compliance and excellent care is being given to our patients.
- How does the agency screen prospective employees?
EGAN requires all employees to pass a criminal background check and drug testing prior to employment.
- What is the procedure for resolving problems if they occur? Who can the patient call with questions or concerns?
EGAN works very hard to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care to each and every patient. However, we maintain a completely open door policy should a patient, patient’s family or physician feel they have an issue, problem or concern they need addressed. A simple telephone call to our office [toll-free (888) 835-4474] will be directed immediately to the staff member best suited to assist and resolve the matter.