At the Heart of Home Health Care


Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Care Giver Information - Choosing a Home Health Care Agency








Visiting Nurse agencies (VNA) are the model for effective, compassionate, innovative and cost-efficient care.  Today, VNAs provide a wide range of services, essential to patients and communities, such as:
  • Skilled Nursing Care
  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Ventilator Care
  • Blood Transfusions
  • Kidney Dialysis
  • Pain Management

Visiting Nurse agencies also offer specialized services, such as adult day care, hospice care, and Meals on Wheels, and are often the primary community source for preventative health services such as:

  • Flu and pneumonia examinations
  • Well-child exams
  • Schools physicals

Visiting Nurse agencies care for patients denied service because they do not meet low-income levels for Medicaid, or do not have full coverage for services, or have exhausted their private insurance benefits.

Choosing the right home health care agency is an important decision. Before you  select a home health care agency, we recommend that you obtain the following information from each agency you are considering.

1. How many years has the agency been serving your community? Does the agency have literature describing its services? Costs? Funding services?
2. Is the agency accredited or hold a certification? Medicare certification? Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)? CHAPS?
3. If required by your state, is the agency licensed?
4. Is an evaluation of the patient’s home health care needs required? If so, what is involved? Who does this? Are the patient’s family and physician consulted?
5. Is there a written plan of care for the patient’s treatment? Do the patient and the physician both participate in developing the plan? Is it updated over the course of the treatment?
6. When are agency caregivers available? Can you receive service 24 hours per day, 7 days a week?
7. Does the agency have a nursing supervisor on call and available 24 hours per day?
8. Can the agency ensure patient confidentiality? How?
9. Is there an explanation of your rights and responsibilities?
10. How is quality monitored? Are supervisors assigned to oversee caregivers’ service? How are employees hired and trained? Does the agency require criminal record checks (CORI) on its employees? Who can you call with questions or complaints? What is the procedure for resolving issues?
11. How does the agency do its billing? Are all costs and fees      listed on a written statement? Does it provide payment plan options common to home health care?
12. Will the agency provide a list of references?

Hit Counter

Please send comments or suggestions to [email protected]