Choosing a Home Nursing Agency

home_care_nurse_blood_pressureChoosing an in home nurse, a private duty nurse, or any type of home care provider is a very important decision. In home nurses administer care in the patient’s home, and therefore must not only be skilled in the nursing profession, but also trustworthy, kind and compassionate. Often times a patient will require care over a long period of time, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. In some cases patients need the services of in home nurses as well as home health aides and other home care providers. The vast majority of in home nurses, private duty nurses, visiting nurses and home care workers are employed by home care agencies. Selecting a reputable, high quality home nursing or home care agency is the first step to enjoying the health benefits provided by in home nurses. Agencies which specialize in the placement of in home nurses, visiting nurses, and other home care professionals, such as caregivers and home health aides, have the staff necessary to coordinate care for all types of health needs. In most cases home care agencies have met federal requirements and are able to accept Medicare and Medicaid. These agencies handle staffing and billing, and assume liability for home care services rendered.

Some in home nurses and home care providers work independently. Contact information for these individuals is sometimes listed in registries of home care workers or these home care service providers may advertise independently. When hiring an independent in home nurse it is important to be aware that the responsibility for screening the home care provider lies with the client and/or their family members. Clients are responsible for paying all fees and arranging for necessary substitutes. Home care agencies are desirable because they arrange for substitutes when regular caregivers or in home nurses are unable to attend the client.

nurse_home_care_elderly_coupleFinding the right home care agency for you or your loved ones takes a bit of work. You should spend time learning about the agencies in your area. Inquire about the home nursing services offered by the agency and ask for references. You should ask to see testimonials about the in home nurses and other home care providers employed by the agency. A talk with your doctor about what type of home care and home nursing services are best for your individual needs can help you identify an agency that will suit your requirements.

Here is a list of questions that may be helpful in interviewing and evaluating prospective home care agencies, in home nurses, private duty nurses and other home care practitioners.

  • How long has the home care agency been in business?
  • Is the home care agency approved by Medicare? Other insurances?
  • How is billing handled by the home care agency?
  • Is the home care agency licensed by the state?
  • Is the home care agency accredited by any health organizations?
  • Does the home care agency offer the services of an on-call home nursing supervisor?
  • What type of supervisory system is in place to guarantee high quality care?
  • Will the in home nurse create a plan of care and provide a copy to the patient?
  • What types of screening programs are used by the home care agency when hiring in home nurses and home care providers?
  •  Can the home care agency provide you with a list of references as well as a listing of healthcare practices who refer patients to them?

Spending time researching home care agencies is an important part of finding an in home nurse. The benefits of high quality medical care provided by in home nurses are well worth the time and effort needed to find a reputable home care or home nursing agency.