When it comes to choosing a home health care agency, loved ones and friends often report that they are concerned about making the right choice. These decision-makers have a lot on their minds. The last thing that they want to think about is whether the very people that they have invited into the home of their loved one can be trusted to be there. There are a number of good questions to ask to determine whether a home health agency is employing quality people.
First and foremost, ask whether the Agency is Medicare Certified. Medicare certification comes only after a great deal of effort on the part of the agency seeking certification. Of all of the agency names that you might recognize in and around the Wichita area, only a small percentage of those are certified by Medicare. Medicare Certification means that the agency has agreed to provide care under a stringent set of guidelines called “Conditions of Participation.” It also means that the agency has undergone one or more “on site surveys” by government surveyors to determine whether the agency’s care is up to standards. In the event of a complaint, Medicare has the option to send a team of investigators to the premises of the agency and to go out to the complainant’s home to investigate the problem. When an unlicensed agency is utilized, these checks and balances do not exist.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, criminal background checks are a necessity. Make sure that you ask what type of background checks are completed on both licensed staff members AND unlicensed staff members. While completing a background check isn’t a guarantee that a person is trustworthy, it is certainly a step in the right direction. You have to question the integrity of any agency that would place someone into your home without such a review. It is also important to know who from the agency is qualified to review such information and make decisions as to whether or not to hire a person.
Often it is better to see a home health care operation by going to the location of the operation itself. Why not make an unannounced visit to see where the management team operates, where the business is located and what kind of people are making the decisions that are affecting the care of your loved one? If the agency is a stable and substantial one, there ought to be two or more management level persons present during business hours. Will they make time to meet with you, at least briefly, even if you come by unannounced? This is often an indication of whether there is sufficient operational oversight and is a strong indication of whether or not your concerns will be promptly addressed if a problem should ever develop.
At Serenity Home Health in Wichita, Kansas, we take numerous steps to ensure that we provide your loved one with only the best caregivers possible.
Licenses and background checks of licensed care staff are completed prior to hire, with verification of their status confirmed by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Serenity Home Health and Serenity Senior Care staff caregivers are covered by Commercial General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation Insurance. In addition, our unlicensed caregivers are Fidelity Bonded—a step that puts us in very rare company. All of these Certificates of Insurance are available for inspection at our offices at 9340 E. Central in East Wichita.
Please drop by at any time during our regular office hours, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Or, call us anytime at (316) 866-2929. We answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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