Let’s start by reviewing the differences between agencies.
Class A Agency (Medical and Non- Medical) – These agencies can provide Medical and Non-Medical services, as required. They can employ Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), and Caregivers. They usually accept different insurances, Private Pay, and Veteran’s Benefits. They can provide services that extend beyond what Medicare and Medicaid typically offer. These Agencies can start services in a non-medical capacity and move up to providing skilled medical services as the client’s needs increase.
Class B Agency (Non-Medical) – These agencies can only provide non-medical services. They employ Caregivers which cannot act as medical personnel even if the Caregiver has a medical background or licensure. They can only provide non- medical services such as household chores, companionship, transportation and medication reminders.
Medicare/Medicaid Agencies – These agencies can provide short term help after you have been hospitalized or return home from a rehab facility. They do not provide any extended hours of care and only provide skilled services such as RNs, Physical Therapists (PT), Occupational Therapists (OT) and Speech Therapists (ST), depending on your individual situation. They do not provide any services that a family member or a Caregiver could perform. Most visits are one hour or less.
Here are some simple questions to ask yourself and your family.
Do I need short or long-term care?
Will I have to change agencies or consider a facility as my needs increase?
What are my goals for having home-care in place?
Will I be able to stay at home till the end of my life?
Does my family support my decision to stay at home and will they be able to help if needed?
Can your home-care provide services in a facility or work with Hospice?
This article should help you navigate between the different types of agencies in your community to help you choose the right home-care solution for your specific needs. Being informed helps to make the right choice and avoid having to change agencies and disrupt care for you or your loved ones.
Editor’s note:This article was submitted by Theresa Poole LPN, Director of Community Relations with BrightStar Care®.Theresa may be reached by email at Theresa.firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-667-7778