Home health care tips from the BBB

Body: 

Before choosing an at home health care, make sure to do your research.

As of June 30, home health care at Mayo Clinic Health System will no longer be available for patients. Services such as IV therapy, social and emotional support and medication management will have to be found from a separate provider.

The hospice program at Mayo Clinic Health System will remain open.

Mayo Clinic Health System has stated that it will work closely with patients and families to transition care to other home health providers in the Red Wing area.

For those looking for further guidance, the Better Business Bureau has tips for choosing a home health care provider.

Who can use it?

Home care is available for all ages for a variety of needs. Services range from non-medical caregivers, such as personal care and companionship, to fully trained and licensed medical caregivers.

Expect to talk in-depth about what kind of care will be provided and what the client's expectations are for someone coming into their home.

Choosing an agency

Liaisons assist most agencies to help explain their services. First, find out if the caregiver and agency have the proper credentials. Then, meet with a few different agencies to find the right fit for you. A few questions to ask when choosing a home health care provider include:

• What kinds of care does the agency provide?

• How long has the agency been in business?

• Does the agency have a "Patient's Bill of Rights"?

• Who is the coordinator for the services within the agency?

• Does the agency have a speciality service or population?

Payment

The agency will ask how the client intends to pay for services. One question to ask would be how much is the cost and if the insurance plan the client has is covered. Sometimes, it is necessary to pay out of pocket. Long term health care is different from home health care.

For more information from the BBB about tips and advice when choosing home health care tips, visit www.bbb.org. Other useful links include: Minnesota Department of Health, www.health.state.mn.us Patient Bill of Rights, www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fpc/consinfo.html and MinnesotaHelp.info, www.MNHelp.info.