My job in home health care has been to assure that my staff provides excellent care to our patients in the most cost efficient manner. Of course it’s a little more complicated than that, but that is what it comes down to.
Recently in Indiana, a large home health company has been in jeopardy of losing its Medicare license because of poor patient care.
Nightingale Home Health, according to Indianapolis Business Journal, “won a temporary injunction on Jan. 25 preventing Medicare from immediately terminating payment for its services. That decision spared Nightingale from almost certain death, because 77 percent of the agency’s nearly 900 patients are covered by Medicare.”
What did they do? IBJ reports:
One patient, who had a urinary tract infection, received no visits from Nightingale staff for a month after his usual nurse went on medical leave, the Medicare agency said. He developed sepsis and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. He was discharged nine days later but returned to the hospital within 24 hours and died two weeks later.
A second patient was supposed to have his blood drawn for testing, but the agency said Nightingale staff members failed to show up to do so on several occasions. When staff members did show up, they often were unable to successfully draw blood, with one employee saying “she would have to have a refresher course in lab.
It’s what makes me work late nights and come in before anyone else. It’s what makes me work weekends and holidays. I want to make sure something like this NEVER happens to a patient.
So, when looking for a quality home health care agency, do your due diligence in finding a quality home health care agency. If a suggestion is made by a hospital social worker or physician, follow up on the agency.
How do you follow up? Stay tuned and I will give you some valuable information to determine what home health care agency is best for you or a loved one.