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Home Care Council
of New York City

Joseph J. Campanella,
Executive Director

425 East 25th St.
New York, NY 10010

212.481.4429
Fax 212.481.8791

Email: HomeCareCouncil
@hccnyc.org

 

 

 

 

CHOOSING A HOME HEALTH AGENCY
QUESTIONS TO ASK

People often receive home health services following hospitalization or care in other settings. Often the hospital discharge planner or social worker provides information on home health agencies - as do physicians, friends, and family members. Patients and their families or friends should ask the hospital for a list of home health care agencies in the community and use the following questions to help choose an available agency:

  • Does the agency serve my community? For how long?
  • Who owns the agency? How long has the agency been in business?
  • Can the agency provide me with written information about its services, the cost of services, its billing procedures, and insurance eligibility requirements?
  • Can the agency provide me with written information about the rights and responsibilities of the providers, patients and caregivers?
  • Is the agency "approved" (or "certified") to provide services to Medicare patients?
  • Is the agency inspected by any outside organization? May I see the results of the last inspection?
  • Does the agency perform a customer satisfaction survey? May I see the results of the last survey?
  • Is there a written plan of care for each patient? Does the agency involve the patient and caregivers in designing this plan and educate them about the care provided?
  • Will the same caregiver be sent to my home for each visit?
  • Does the agency schedule care at any time of the day or night that my physician says is necessary?
  • What kind of training does the agency require for caregivers?
  • Do the agency's caregivers work directly for the agency? How are they supervised? Are they subject to criminal background checks?
  • How does the agency respond to emergencies? How long does it take to respond to calls?
  • Who should I call with questions or complaints? How will the agency respond?
  • Will the agency help find other community services such as Meals on Wheels or homemakers services - or help find medical equipment I may need?
  • Can the agency give me references that are familiar with their services?
  • Suggested questions to ask references: Do you frequently refer patients to this agency? Are your patients satisfied with this agency's services?