Making Sense of the Health Care Puzzle
Palliative home care is a word used when referencing the care that is given in Hospice. Palliative care is "comfort only" and the goal of palliative care is to provide patients with a life limiting diagnosis freedom from pain, emotional & spiritual support, and the ability to control the direction of their own care as much as possible all in their home setting.
In the event your loved one’s prognosis improves, you will have no liability for payment and there are no consequences for the patient. At that point in time they could be moved from Hospice to Home Health based on the physician's recommendation. And if the prognosis changes again they could be moved back to Hospice care. Alliance can offer continuity of care meaning that because we have both Home Health and Hospice, we can continue caring for the patient. They would not have to get used to new people in their home or surroundings - same agency, same care, same people.
Thousands of families must decide how to help a loved one who needs assistance or medical care. While outside facilities may be a first thought, many people choose home health care providers for the comfort, financial savings and convenience they provide. Consider these questions as you decide on a provider for yourself or your loved one: How do you match clients with employees? What type of training does your staff go through? or continuing education? Does your company have licensed social workers on staff? How closely does the company's administrator evaluate the quality of home care? Do you have registered nurses as the director of nursing How are problems addressed and resolved? Who does the family or patient contact with requests, questions, or complaints? When will service be provided and how is the scheduling managed? When is care available? What procedures are in place for emergencies ie power failure or inclement weather? Can the company provide references, including a list of doctors, discharge planners or other professionals who have experience with the agency? What are the credentials of the employee who will be in my home? Are they licensed? Can they provide individual references? Has the company ever been accused of fraud? How does the company handle expenses and billing? Will I receive a written care plan before service begins?
Each of us will experience grief at some time in our lives. While it is a universal experience, it is also a unique one. Grieving is an important and necessary part of adjusting to and coping with the loss of a loved one. Bereavement support can help families to better understand the grieving process, adjust to their losses more quickly, return to a productive lifestyle more quickly, and find new meaning in life. We are dedicated to helping people through the grief process by creating a safe place where all who have experienced the pain of death may come to work through loss and learn to manage grief.
The cost of home health is covered through Medicare and Medicaid as well as most private insurance companies who may have co-pays and deductibles.
Benefits that you may receive from home health will be determined by a physician's instructions and by the allowance of Medicare and Medicaid or private insurance. Services can include the following:
Our Nursing Services May Include:Professional care plan development and management Health assessments Diabetic monitoring and instruction Blood sampling I.V. and line insertion Medication regimen and education Catheter and colostomy care Pain management Restorative nursing Wound care (dressing changes / education) Parenteral / enteral care Cardiac care Our Certified Home Health Aide Service May Include: Bathing and hair care Oral hygiene Assistance with dressing Catheter care Assistance with ambulation Light housekeeping Meal preparation Our Therapy Services May Include Physical Therapy Strengthening/conditioning exercises Mobility training Occupational Therapy Activities of daily living Use of special equipment training Orthotics / prosthetic training Muscle re-education Speech Therapy Language therapy Communication therapy Swallowing DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Medical equipment Medical supplies
If you qualify, hospice care is provided at no cost to you if you are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Alliance is a Medicare/Medicaid Certified Agency. Most major insurance companies also have Hospice benefits.
The mission of Alliance is to provide gentle, comforting, personalized care for patients and their families. Using a team approach, Alliance provides physical, emotional and spiritual support enhancing quality of life and preserving dignity to end of life. For more information go to our Hospice page here.
You have the right to choose your own agency to care for you or your loved one for Home Health or Hospice care. People do not always realize their specific rights at the time of their care because those rights are often not clearly defined. The fundamental elements of the patient-doctor relationship are outlined as follows by the American Medical Association: The right to receive information from physicians and to discuss the benefits, risks, and costs of appropriate treatment alternatives The right to make decisions regarding the health care that is recommended by the physician The right to courtesy, respect, dignity, responsiveness, and timely attention to health needs The right to confidentiality The right to continuity of health care The basic right to have adequate health care These rights do not negate the responsibility a patient must take for their own healthcare and ensuring their rights. Patients often have certain responsibilities for ensuring their rights. The AMA also states that physicians should serve as advocates for patients and promote these basic rights. If you have questions, ask the social worker at the facility and they are obligated under law to explain your options for Home Health or Hospice Care. You may also call Alliance to address any concern or question. You will be addressed with respect and compassion by a registered nurse without any sales pressure.
The goal of Home Health is to rehabilitate patients using traditional medical management. Home health helps patients remain independent in the comfort of their own home, where family support and familiar surroundings can improve recovery. Home health care can prevent re-hospitalization or admission to nursing homes and other alternative care settings. Home Health can also be administered in an assisted living setting. Home health uses a team approach following a physician’s directions. The patient must be homebound, require skilled care, be rehabilitative, and show a decrease in visits over time. Medications and equipment are not covered. Home care generally costs one-fifth of what an outside care facility may charge while enabling people to receive competent, cost-effective care that is tailored to his/her needs. Home care allows people with special health needs to go on living normal lives and experience a higher quality of life in the comfortable, healing environment in a home setting.
Hospice care is based on the philosophy of care which embraces death as a natural part of the cycle of life. Individuals faced with a life limiting diagnosis and their families have a right to the best possible palliative care to relieve physical, emotional, spiritual, and social pain and suffering. The goal of hospice is to achieve maximum comfort and quality of life for individuals with a life limiting diagnosis. The hospice team works with patients and caregivers to implement a personal care plan, coordinate services and offer support focusing on the patient's well being, pain management and symptom control. Hospice care may be provided in their home wherever 'home' is, such as at an Assisted Living Center or Nursing Home. Our team of professional caregivers includes physicians, registered nurses, social workers, certified nursing assistants, spiritual counselors (chaplains), and volunteers. A five-day respite stay is provided when the caregiver needs a break and general in-patient care is provided during a medical crisis in a skilled facility. Bereavement counseling is also provided for families and caregivers. For more information visit our hospice page here.
There are different qualifications for Hospice and Home Health - we will summarize but it is always best to call an Alliance office near you for a free assessment from a registered nurse. You qualify for Hospice Care if you have been diagnosed with a life limiting event with a life expectancy of six months or less (as certified by a physician). You qualify for Home Health if you are rehabilitative, show a decrease in visits over time, are home bound and require skilled care. Medicare pays for skilled visits only.