Alliance for Better Long Term Care
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Home Care & Hospice Program

Home Care and Hospice Program

Important information for those receiving licensed home health care or hospice services

What is home health care?
Very simply, it is health care you receive in your own home. You may decide which licensed agency to use. You have the right to make an informed choice about your care.

Who provides these services?
Home health care agencies provide services. Some agencies are non profit, such as traditional “visiting nurse” organizations. Others are businesses that operate for profit.

What kinds of services are provided through an agency?
A home health care agency will usually provide the following licensed services from a team of professionals:
Registered Nurse (RN)
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Physical Therapist
Speech Therapist
Occupational Therapist
Registered Dietician
Licensed Social Worker/Counselor
Housekeeper or Homemaker

Who should receive home care?
Many people benefit from home care including:
    Those with chronic illness or disability who need professional care
    People recently discharged from a hospital or nursing home
    People who need short term assistance following illness, injury or birth of a child
    Those who need help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, walking, dressing, etc.
    Clients who are terminally ill and want to spend their remaining time at home (hospice care)

What Should I look for?
an agency that is local to your home
    one with 24 hours on-call nursing staff
    an agency with appropriate contracts
    one with a supervising registered nurse

Who pays for these services?
Home health care services are paid for in several ways. Patients may pay themselves or use their private health insurance. Often payment is made through Medicare or Medicaid. There are sliding scales or subsidized payment programs sometimes available. It is very important to ask about co-payments and coverage restrictions.

Once you’ve decided:
The agency will work with you to develop a care plan that should be explained to you in detail, both verbally and on paper. The agency should provide you with a copy of the following:
    Client Bill of Rights & Responsibilities
    Advance Directives
    Service Agreement & Billing Information
    Release of Medical Information Form
    Medical Equipment/Medication Information
    Comprehensive Care Plan (which includes types of care, how often the care is delivered and by whom,
    and how long the care will be offered)

Never allow any worker or delivery person into your home without photo identification!

How should I select an agency?
Choosing the right agency is an important decision, so you should do your homework. You may get a referral from a social worker or discharge planner, however the choice is yours. You can ask family members and friends who may have used home care. You can check with the Alliance for Better Long Term Care at 401-785-3340 or 1-888-351-0808 for a list of licensed home care agencies.

What should I do if I have a complaint or concern?
Speak up immediately to the person providing the service in your home. Be clear and specific. Go into detail. What happened? Who was involved? When and where did the incident happen? Keep a written record of who you talked to and when. If the situation is not resolved, call the supervising nurse or case manager right away. You will need detailed information. Be specific! If you still have a problem, contact the Alliance. A member of our staff will look into the situation and will remain involved until your concerns have been reasonably resolved.

Your Rights as a Home Health Care Consumer
Under Rhode Island State Law, consumers of home health care services are protected by certain rights. If a consumer is unable to understand or exercise their rights, a relative or guardian may act on the consumer’s behalf.

  Department of Elderly Affairs


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