During the last year, mom used a home health agency several times for wound care, OT and PT. Her last hospital visit restarted these services, but we were unable to use the same agency. The original agency is closing the home visit part of their business, moving to working in facilities only. There is no way to know if they will resume home visits. I am disappointed because they had policies and procedures in place that made sense to me.
The new agency has a different procedure for visits and it makes my life and mom’s much harder. The professional’s themselves call the day they want to visit between 8:00 and 9:00. I am often at a networking event during that time and either do not hear or cannot answer the phone which means we have lost the day.
Asking professionals to schedule visits the day of a visit is ridiculous. I spoke with the nurse after 8:00 pm one night because I missed her earlier phone call. When I apologized for calling so late, she told me not to worry, she was still working on charting, which means this poor nurse had been working from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm after driving from client to client that day. It’s just wrong.
Because they are being held responsible for filling their day, when a hole appears in their schedule, they will call, trying to see my mother with no advance notice. The best was a 9:55 am call for a 10:15 am arrival time. That is nuts. I had no idea if my mother was up and ready for the day, let alone willing to see the PT in less than half an hour. I declined the appointment.
The latest is when the OT and PT showed up at the same time and had to wait while my mother had something to eat. I knew the OT was coming and had prepped mom, but the PT was a surprise to both of us. My phone number is primary on the account and as near as I know, I was not notified. I say as near as I know, because our phone interactions are hurried and I’m not always given the name of the person calling. The OT did not work with her that first day because the time allotted was spent waiting for mom to finish breakfast. I bet Medicare still got billed for the visit.
I don’t blame the nurse, OT or PT. I blame the company whose procedures require these professionals to fill their own schedule each day. Which also means they cannot tell you approximately when they will be back making it harder to plan.
I hope this is the last time we need these types of services, but I know that is not realistic. I do know when I am asked which agency we would like to use, I am not going with this one.
My advice to you is to ask how an agency schedules appointments before you agree to use them. If they only schedule the day of and cannot give you an approximate time frame they will be back at the end of a visit, steer clear.
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.
Deb is available as a caregiver consultant. She will answer the question: “Where do I start?” and find the resources to alleviate your stress. If you would like to invest a half hour to learn how she can help you, please contact her at: Free 30 minute consulting call
Deb is the author of “Your Caregiver Relationship Contract.” This book explains how to have an intentional conversation and the how unspoken expectations can cause problems. Click here to learn more about Your Caregiver Relationship Contract.