In times of uncertainty, like what we are experiencing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, it is readily apparent why selecting health providers with reputations for excellence is so important. This is particularly true when you are looking at health services that are provided in your home, wherever that may be. The challenge is knowing where to find credible information to help in making a decision. The following are some tips for identifying the right home health services provider for you.
Look for Quality
Most health insurance, including Medicare, covers home health services, particularly following a surgery or in association with a diagnosed condition. As such, many of the things you should look for in selecting a care provider are evaluated on a quarterly basis by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These ratings measure 8 key metrics including the following:
- Timely Initiation of Care
- Improvements in Daily Living (Ambulation, Bed, Transferring, Bathing)
- Reduction in Pain Interfering with Activity
- Medication Management
- Hospitalization Rates
Based on outcomes in these areas, home health providers receive a star rating, based on a scale of one to five. For reference, the national average is around 3.5 stars. Look for a provider with an above-average star rating from CMS. You can compare Home Health quality ratings for providers in your area on CMS’ website.
HomeCare Elite is an organization that selects agencies for recognition based on an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, best practices implementation, patient experience (HHCAHPS), quality improvement and consistency, and financial health. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least three outcomes in Home Health Compare.
Ask Your Provider
If you have a trusted primary care physician or other health care provider, they can typically make a recommendation or referral from within their network of service providers. Be sure to ask your provider questions about what to expect, what to ask, and information you need to effectively communicate your specific needs. Your provider can equip you with information you need to not only select a quality provider, but also ensure you get the most from your home health experience.
Look for Happy Employees
When you invite a health professional into your home, you want to know that you are in the care of an experienced, compassionate professional who loves what they do and is knowledgeable about what they are doing. Much like you taking the time to search for a quality provider, good employees look for good employers. Good employers keep good people, who in turn provide excellent care. Some of the agencies that provide these determinations include the following:
Home Care Elite
Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma https://www.greatplacetowork.com/best-workplaces/health-care/2018
CMS: Five Star Rating System https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/FSQRS
To learn more about what people are saying about Constellation Health Services, see our star ratings, and read some of our testimonials online.