Getting Home Health Care

Getting Home Health Care

Getting Home Health Care

Usually, once your doctor refers you for home health care services, staff from the home health agency will come to your home to talk to you about your needs and ask you some questions about your health. The home health agency will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep your doctor updated about your progress. Doctor’s orders are needed to start care.

Your Plan of Health Care

Your home health agency will work with you and your doctor to develop your plan of care. A plan of care lists what kind of services and care you should get for your health problem. You have the right to be involved in any decisions about your Your plan of care includes the following:

■ What services you need
■ The medical equipment you need
■ Which health care professionals should give these services
■ How often you will need the services
■ What results your doctor expects from your treatment

Your home health agency must provide you with all the home care listed in your plan of care, including services and medical supplies. The agency may do this through its own staff or through an arrangement with another agency; or by hiring nurses, therapists, home health aides, and medical social service counselors to meet your needs.

Your plan of care (continued)

Your doctor and home health team review your plan of care as often as necessary, but at least once every 60 days. If your health problems change, the home health team should tell your doctor right away. Your plan of care will be reviewed and may change. Your home health team should only change your plan of care with your doctor’s approval. Your home health team should also tell you about any changes in your plan of care. If you have a question about your care, or if you feel your needs aren’t being met, talk to both your doctor and the home health team. The home health team will teach you (and your family or friends who are helping you) to continue any care you may need, including wound care, therapy, and disease management. You should learn to recognize problems like infection or shortness of breath, and know what to do or whom to contact if they happen.

Your rights as a person with Medicare

In general, as a person with Medicare getting home health care from a Medicare-certified home health agency, you’re guaranteed certain rights, including the following:

■ To get a written notice of your rights before your care starts
■ To have your home and property treated with respect
■ To have your personal information kept private
■ To get written and verbal information about how much Medicare is expected to pay and how much you will have to pay for any services that you will be getting
■ To be told, in advance, what care you will be getting and when your plan of care is going to change
■ To participate in your care planning and treatment
■ To get written information about your privacy rights and your appeal rights
■ To make complaints about your care and have the home health agency follow up on them
■ To know the phone number of the home-health hotline in your state where you can call with complaints or questions about your care

If you have questions about your care, or if you feel your needs are not being met, talk to both physicians and the health care team at home. The health team at home will teach you (and your family or friends who help you) to continue the treatment that you might need, including wound care, treatment, and management of diseases related to your Home Health Care.

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