How to select a home care agency? With more and more Americans move into retirement age, this question will become more and more important. Keep in mind that a lot of Homecare fraud, abuse and negligence have been reported in the past few years. So, how to take care of your loved ones and put them in the right hands?

We will start from DC Department’s EPD (Elderly and Persons with Disability) Waiver Program which I have a very recent and positive experience with.  Once you go to the program link, you will find helpful steps to help you follow through the important steps. However, the most important step (Step 1)  in terms of “select and contact” as indicated probably needs more elaboration to help many patients or their family to make this most important decision.

Here are some of the caveats to move forward with this important step.

1. Contact DC Department of Health Care Finance Office of Chronic and Long-Term Care or DC office on Aging.

2. Obtain a copy of the current EPD Waiver Program Brochure.

3. Go through the list of providers.

4. Google the providers that you are interested.

5. Go to their websites if you can find the link. A provider’s website, if they are investing in such an important communicative channel nowadays, will provide you with fortune of information about its services and patient testimonies. See if you like them based on the theme and words through its web presence.

6. Go to BBB (Best Business Bureau) to see if there is any complaints filed against the providers. Here is the link for BBB of Washington DC.

7. Call the provider. Talk to their intake staffs and query about their services personally. Do they offer various services that you need? Personal care aide? How often do they change their staff? What’s the intake procedure?

8. Words of mouth. Ask around your friends and other family members. They might be same or similar experience that they could share.

9. Carefully observe the intake process once you have selected one and contact them for the first time intake assessment.  Is there carefully structured scheduling process? Is the appointment being confirmed prior to the staff’s arrival? Does the staff arrive on time? Does the staff bring all the necessary information and paperwork needed and organize the process efficiently? Is the staff patient? Is the staff empathetic about the patient’s situation? There are lot of details revealed through this process. If you are the family member, please be with the patient at that time. Not only it’s important to show your support, you will help the patient to determine the quality of service through this important procedure.

10. Keep in mind that Waivers are choice programs which gives the freedom of choice to select any provider for any service as long as he/she is eligible. Freedom of choice also indicates that EPD Waiver participants may also transfer to a different provider for a particular service.  However, don’t underestimate the importance of getting this right in the first place. Re-selection means transfer of your service. Sometimes it may take a long time to transfer and creates a gap between services and providers. Having a good provider will help in eliminating these problems.

After all, put some due diligence up front in selecting an agency will really help to avoid many long term issues. Good luck in finding the right agency for you and your loved ones.

If you have any questions regarding selecting and working with homecare agency or if you have any question regarding your eligibility and your service, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

 

 

 

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