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Questions and Answers

When you are considering home care services, there are many questions you should be asking your provider. American Home Health Care (AHHC) included some of the most common questions we receive each day from our clients, referral sources, and physicians.

If you choose AHHC as your home care provider or if you choose another agency, be sure to ask the following questions and feel comfortable with the answers you receive.

Q: How long has the provider been serving the community?

A: AHHC has been serving the community since 1992, providing quality and continuity of care to our clients. References are available upon request.

Q: Does the provider supply literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? Many providers furnish clients with a detailed “Patient Bill of Rights” that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the provider, patient, and caregivers alike.

A: AHHC provides an extensive “Patient Bill of Rights” it informs our clients of their rights and our responsibilities as the provider. We outline any out of pocket fees, co-pays, fees for service, and the dollar amount, if any, the client might be responsible for if insurance does not cover all home care costs.

Q: How does the provider select and train its employees? Does it protect its workers with written personnel policies, benefits packages, and malpractice insurance?

A: Each of AHHC staff members is thoroughly screened. We check references, conduct an extensive investigation, and test skills for competency. Individual training is routine for all staff members. We maintain a continuous skill testing program to ensure ongoing quality. Our training and education programs assure that our staff stays on the cutting edge of medical technology.

Q: Are nurses, aids, or therapists required to evaluate the client's home care needs? If so, what does this entail? Do they consult the client's physicians and family members?

A: AHHC develops a comprehensive plan of care. The plan of care is approved by the client's physician and is carried out by the home care team. This ensures the client is being well managed. The plan of care encompasses nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and aid services. Our dedicated team will work with the client and family members and the physician to develop an extensive individualized plan to ensure our clients are receiving the highest quality of care possible. AHHC's team will coordinate a plan to ensure our clients goals are being met in a safe and healthy environment in their own home for a speedy recovery. We will continuously keep the primary physician up to date on progress and any change in client status.

Q: How can I access home care services?

A: Clients or family members may directly contact home health agencies to access services. Physician, Case Managers, Discharge Planners and Social Workers may also make recommendations about home health. For people discharged from a hosptial, Federal Law guarantees a person's right to choose the home care provider that he or she wants in the home. The hospital is required to provide a list of all the home care agencies in addition to any hospital sponsored or owned home care agencies.

Q: Who pays for home care services?

A: Many home care services are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, Long Term Care Insurance, worker's compensation, private or group health insurance, HMO's, Veteran (VA/Tricare). Also, private payment may be arranged with many agencies on an individual basis. When services are reimbursed by either public sources of funding or through insurance, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria for reimbursement. Medicare requires an agency to meet the following conditions before reimbursing for home health services:
  • The client to whom the services are being provided is an eligible Medicare beneficiary.
  • A physician certifies the need for services and works with the agency to establish a plan of care.
  • The beneficiary must meet Medicare's definition of “homebound”.
  • Care must be provided in the client's place of residence.
  • The client needs skilled nursing on an intermittent basis or physical therapy or speech therapy or has a continued need for occupational therapy once one of the other skilled disciplines has established a plan of care.
  • The agency providing the services must be a Medicare-certified home health care agency.

Q: Does the client have the right to confidentiality regarding his care?

A: Yes, every agency is required to follow HIPAA, a government established requirement to ensure patient confidentiality.

Q: What certifications, licensures, and accreditations does the agency hold?

A: AHHC is Medicare certified, Illinois state licensed, and Joint Commission accredited. www.jointcommission.org.

Q:What is Joint Commission?

A: Joint Commission is an independent not for profit organization. They accredit and certify more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S. Joint Commission's accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization committed to meeting certain performance standards. To Review AHHC benchmarchs, please go to www.jointcommission.org.

Q: What are the hours of operation?

A: AHHC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With hundreds of nurses throughout the Chicago area, we are ready at a moment's notice to provide care for any type of situation.

Q: In what counties does the agency provide service?

A: AHHC provides services in the following counties: in Illinois: Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Lake, Lee, Kendal, Kane, Kankakee, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Will, and Winnebago.

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