Home Health Compare Tools For Medicare Beneficiaries as per the Medicare Website
Let me start by giving you some statistics. Do you know experts say that there are 10,000 people now enrolling in the Medicare program every day? As people are living healthier and longer now, this trend is expected to continue for the next fifteen (15) years.
At the White House Conference on Aging in 2015, the following statistics were presented: there were 44.7 million Americans 65 and over and 6 million aged 85 and over in 2013. Also noted was that in 2013, there were 75.9 million baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) accounting for almost one-quarter of the population, per U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates. Baby boomers began turning 65 years old in 2011. The White House conference on Aging paper also noted that between 1980 and 2013, the centenarian population more than doubled from 32,194 in 1980 to 67,347 in 2013, per U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates.
For those baby boomers who may be new to the Medicare system and may have the need to hire home care agencies to provide Medicare skilled Services in their homes, or, if you have or relatives who may need Medicare skilled services at home, please take advantage of the Medicare website. It has very useful and beneficial information to help keep you informed of your benefits as well as provide you with tools to help guide you. Visit Home Health Compare at https://www.medicare.gov/homehealthcompare
I want to highlight two (2) home health care Tools here for Medicare Beneficiaries:
Tool # 1 is a Home Health Agency Checklist. You can use this tool to compare what you are looking for to meet your needs. This checklist has twelve questions. I am listing a few of the questions. Questions such as: Is the agency Medicare-certified? Is the agency Medicaid certified (if you have both Medicare and Medicaid insurance)? Does the agency offer skilled nursing services or skilled physical therapy? Please note that if the agency you hire is not Medicare-certified and you expect Medicare to pay for your care, Medicare does not pay for skilled care if the agency is not Medicare certified. As a Medicare beneficiary, there are certain specific requirements that the provider must meet in order for Medicare to pay for the services. If you have private insurance, then you see what is covered by your private insurance. Also if you plan to pay privately out of pocket for the whole care or service, then Medicare-certified may not apply. Other questions to ask include whether the agency will meet your language and cultural preferences; whether they offer personal care services like bathing, dressing, etc.; whether they offer support services like helping arrange for meals on wheels; or can they meet the services and hours based on your doctor’s orders; is staff available on nights and weekends for emergencies? You can download the Home Health Agency Checklist form the Medicare website.
Tool # 2 is the Quality of Patient Care Star System “Home Health Compare”- This is a comparison of listed Medicare-certified Home Health Agencies based on the agency’s performance on the Quality Measures on the Home Health Compare Medicare website. The data shows how each home agency used best practices when caring for its patients and patients improved in certain important areas of care.
As stated above people are living healthier and longer now, and some people prefer to have their care being provided at their homes, when the situation arises, as opposed to going to a skilled nursing facility. This obviously is a matter of choice for the patient based on discussion with the patient, the patient’s doctor and family member(s).
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