1. What questions should I ask a prospective home health agency?
2. What does it mean for a home health agency to be state-licensed?
3. Why is Nurses With Heart a private pay agency?
4. What are your weekly minimums, hours of operation and service areas?
The first thing to keep in mind is that you have choices when it comes to home health services. If you are unhappy with the current situation, you have the right to seek better care. We are constantly surprised how many clients (and/or their families) feel stuck in an arrangement that is suboptimal, yet are afraid to make changes. Just remember – you are the customer, and you get to decide what kind of care works best for you and your family.
That said, here are some suggested questions to ask:
–Is your agency licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health?
–Do you provide both home aide services and home nursing services?
–What are your hiring and training practices, and what’s your staff turnover?
–What are your weekly minimum hours and other contractual requirements?
–What if the amount of care required exceeds what is allotted by Medicare/Medicaid?
Currently, we are one of the few home health agencies serving Santa Fe County to be licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health. Nurses With Heart is very proud to be state-licensed. Not only is it an indication of how seriously we take our responsibilities as caregivers, but it’s a representation to you – our clients – of a number of important safety standards.
First, being state licensed means that we’ve gone through a long, comprehensive process to become licensed, and that moving forward, we agree to frequent audits by the state that ensure we are maintaining certain standards at all times. From a hiring standpoint, it means that we must interview all prospective hires in person, do fingerprinting and run nationwide background and criminal record checks via the Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program to ensure that the individual has never been flagged or arrested for abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. Applicants must then pass a written test as well as a hands-on test of practical skills, such as how to transfer someone from a wheelchair safely.
Once hired, all new staff must be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS), which means that they are able to provide CPR, choking assistance and defibrillation in the event of a life-threatening situation. State-licensed agencies are also required to provide all staff training in-house and have a Registered Nurse (RN) conduct an in-depth clinical evaluation and risk assessment for every new client.
In addition, many Long-Term Health Care Insurance Policies will only be reimbursed if the Home Health Agency you are receiving services from is a State Licensed Agency.
Nurses With Heart is a private pay only agency, which means we accept payment via cash, check or debit/credit card. We do not accept Medicare or Medicaid, and we’re happy to explain why. As a private pay only agency, we feel we can provide the absolute best care possible, as determined by our clients, their families and our Chief Nursing Officer .
For example, if our client’s family wants their loved one to have skilled nursing care or companionship seven days a week, that’s what we provide, regardless of what Medicare might allocate. If our Clinical Director recommends we handle medication management due to a client’s cognitive issues, and the client’s family agrees, then we factor that into the number of hours we schedule. Our customized care plans are influenced by quality, safety and peace of mind, not by bureaucracy or standardized guidelines.
As a result, Nurses With Heart is able to provide personalized care that meets the needs of our clients and their families as they see them – and not anyone else. We believe a higher level of care is possible due to this freedom, and contrary to expectations, that we can often provide it at a lower cost than the traditional model. Yes, you read that correctly. For example, when it comes to outpatient services – such as infusion treatments or diabetic toenail care – it is often less expensive to hire Nurses With Heart to provide these services in your home than to go through insurance at an outpatient center. See our Cost Effectiveness Case Studies for details.
To find out about our pricing for your individual situation, please give us a call .
Nurses With Heart is here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. We can provide care wherever you call home, including private homes/apartments, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospices and more.
We’re also extremely flexible in our minimums. Unlike other agencies that require that you hire them for at least several hours a week, our daily minimum is only two hours, thus allowing for changing circumstances and increased cost effectiveness. If you need us to help out for six hours this week, and two hours the following week, no problem. Our goal is to provide the right amount of assistance for each individual situation – no more, no less.
Finally, Nurses With Heart serves clients within an approximately 100-mile radius of our Santa Fe, New Mexico, headquarters. See the map below for our approximate service area boundaries. If in doubt, please give us a call .
Click here to view larger map of approximate service area.