Saturday, January 14, 2017

What do I need to know about home health?

I have been a nurse for 25 yrs, and this June it will be 26.  I have worked many outlets; med surg, telemetry, er, all different ICUs, dobutamine clinic, long term, and home health.  I have worked for many agencies in the 8 years that I have done home health.  So what are the important aspects of home health should a family or individual look for?

In Illinois there are over 800 home health agencies in all counties.  This explains why there is a pre claim law now in effect for Illinois.  The main reason is fraud!  So I will list the link to  IDPH home health agency listing and you can start there.  This is just for Illinois, your state may have their own listing.  You can also go by referral.  Talk to someone who has had home health.  If your social worker is recommending home health, ask how much she knows about the company.  If she doesn't call and ask questions.  Here is the link to the IDPH home health agency listing
This site lists the county, phone number, license number and expiration date of their license.    When you call the agency if you start on your own, the longer they have been open, the better they are sometimes.

Stability:  How long have they been in existence?  How many nurses do they employ?  Do they have an on call NURSE?  What are their hours?  How does the patient contact someone in case of any emergency?  Have they had any complaints?  Are they Medicare certified? or Joint commission certified?  If not what other certifications do they have, and do they plan on getting them soon?  How long has the DON been with the business?  What are the experience ranges of the nurses?  With a stable company, there should be no problem in answering in any of these questions.  If their brochure says they provide home health aides, or PT, then they should be able to do so.

Experience:  How long have the owners of the company, owned it, and how much experience do they have in the area?  Are they in home health, or are they a real estate mogul?  Sometimes the owner of the agency has no idea about home health, or comes from another industry all together.  How long has the Director of Nursing been a Director of Nursing?  Has she been a Director of Nursing at other places?  Is she there at the office full time.  If not, who is?  Important.   Rules are that there has to be a nurse sitting in the office at all times.  In my opinion, if you are a director of nursing, you should be full time, and in the office FULL TIME.  Does she go on field assignments?  How does she train her nurses?  

Now you do not have to ask all these questions with your first phone call, but do ask!  Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.  If you can't remember, write them down.

You should get a folder with the first evaluation of services.  Usually it is the home health nurse who does the first visit, but policies and agencies may vary.  In this folder is usually the business card of the director of nursing, a pamphlet, information on home safety, advance directives, flu and pneumonia vaccines, and a variety of other stuff.  If you don't get a folder ask for it.

Also, home health companies can call and ask you if you want home health if you are a medicare recipient.  This is legal.  Be aware, you can not have 2 home health companies in the same house at the same time.  This sometimes happens and is not the fault of the patient, but be aware it can happen.  The patient can have a home maker from another agency, such as DORS or senior services.  This is not the same as home health.

Your home health nurse, if she decides to do visits, must visit a minimum of once a week or  if agreed with DON, every other week.  Generally speaking, minimum is once a week.  If your nurse misses visits without notice, call the agency.  Sometimes missed visits due to illness or patient doctor visits are unavoidable, but the patient and nurse know why they are missed. 

If the patient has trouble getting the supplies from the agency, ask questions.   As of this writing, the home health company  has to provide dressing change materials to the patient.  Medicare does pay for this.  Medicare does not pay for incontinence products.

If the patient has a complaint about the nurse or agency, take it up with the DON first, if not resolved call the home health hot line.  This number should be pointed out to you in the first meeting with the nurse or PT, and is in the folder the patient receives.

This is alot of material to take in.  Hopefully our health care system will let all that need home health get home health.  Good luck, and if I can answer any questions, you can find me on instagram, facebook, here and twitter!  

Until next time~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Saturday, January 7, 2017

My 100 day commitment

So as most of you know, we went to Disney world, and did alot of walking.  At least Becky and I did.  Abby was in a wheelchair, in which we pushed her, and Chuck in a motorized chair.  Abby didn't and wouldn't have the endurance to do all the parks because of her heart defect, and Chuck has arthritis in both hips so bad he just couldn't.  He did walk some, which actually is very good for him and his arthritis.  Believe it or not.

We think we lost weight.  I don't know for sure but we think we did.  On that note, I have decided that I am going to commit myself to 100 days in the gym!  I am committed.  What do I have to loose?  Hopefully weight, right?  I was inspired by a gal on facebook, and figured if she could do it, so could I.  After all, I managed Disney World.  So, today, January 7th will be my 2nd day in a row at the gym.  I will keep you informed and may include a pic and/or video.  If I can figure that out.

Until next time.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fun sweeps to enter for the holidays

Hi and good afternoon friends and family!  Who doesn't like free stuff?  One of my favorite hobbies to do when I am not working, doing housework or watching t.v. is sweeps.  In this entry I've included some links for things you can enter and hopefully win for the holidays.  I've also included my links to facebook and pinterest that have the sweeps in them.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Here is my face book link, and you can look for the sweeps there

I'll be back with more later.  Now I'm on to see my 18 yr old in her gnomes play.  Have a great Holiday season

See you soon

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Beccas' after party shenanigans

This is my daughter and friend Maddy eating candy.  Fortunately, Becca did not end up sick.  They were up until midnight, and were pretty much sleeping before I left for work around 11.  Kids!!!

Until next time~~~~


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Great books

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
 Life as Leels | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | All Romance Reader
It's My Side of Life | Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Beck Valley BooksA Library of Reviews | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance | Mother Distracted | Colorimetry | The Ultimate Fan Blog
Totally Addicted to Reading | 3 Partners in Shopping | Angie's Angle I Creat Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings
Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMieiAli - The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom WannabeMy Bizzy World |  Deal Sharing Aunt | Rambling Reviews 

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

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Come back and check out the new selection every week x