For individuals recovering from surgery, hospitalization or a serious illness, home health care is a great option. Many of us prefer to get healthcare in the comfort and privacy of our own home. There are a wide range of medical care services that St. Louis home health care providers offer from qualified medical professionals, including:
- Skilled nursing
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
Finding the right home health care provider for you or your loved one, however, can be a daunting task. St. Louis home health care agencies must be licensed by the state, and many are Medicare certified as well. While all agencies must adhere to federal and state regulations, choosing the right provider that best suits your individual needs is essential. Take the following steps to help you choose the right St. Louis home health care agency.
Research your options
The best place to begin your search is through recommendations. Talk with family members, friends and neighbors. Ask your doctor or hospital discharge planner for referrals. In addition, the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging and the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging are good resources to learn more about home health care providers in St. Louis. Use Medicare’s Home Health Compare tool to search and compare certified Medicare and Medicaid home health agencies and view the quality of care provided to patients.
Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care
Home health care is different from home care or commonly called in-home care. Home health care involves medical care, whereas in-home care provides personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and housekeeping by home care aides.
Determine how you will pay for services
A few options are available to pay for St. Louis home health care, using both public and/or private assistance. If you are enrolled in Medicare (Part A and/or Part B) or Medicaid, then the cost for home health care is usually covered in full. To find out if you or your loved one qualifies for Medicare-funded care, read Medicare’s official booklet on home health care benefits. For veterans, other government-sponsored medical plans, such as VA medical benefits, can help defer expenses.
Private health insurance is another option that may cover some of the costs, depending on the type of coverage plan and requirements. Insurance plans can be coordinated through the patient’s employer, spouses’ or retiree health insurance.
For some, private pay is an option by using personal accounts or funds. Sometimes, family members will contribute to cover the cost, especially if their loved one continues to need care after all benefit programs and insurance coverage stops.
Screen home health care providers
Once you acquire information on several St. Louis home health care agencies, you will want to evaluate each provider. Select at least two agencies to interview and ask a lot of questions specific to your situation. This is a relationship built on trust, so your interactions with the agencies are important.
Before you hire a home health care agency be sure to request references and check out the Better Business Bureau to see if they have had any issues or complaints.
Finding the right home health care provider can be time consuming but is important as these people will be responsible for your loved one. Doing your job thoroughly at the beginning of the process will provide you with greater peace of mind and better home health care service.